What is the role of neurologic assessment in electrodiagnostic medicine?

Updated: Aug 06, 2019
  • Author: Brian M Kelly, DO; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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The neurologic examination is usually the most important aspect of the physical assessment in electrodiagnostic consultations. "The electrodiagnostic examination is a direct extension of the neurologic examination" is an oft-repeated sentence. Classically, the neurologic examination is divided into motor and sensory functions. The motor examination is divided further into upper (cerebellar, cerebral, and spinal cord) and lower motor neuron, neuromuscular junction, and the muscle itself. The sensory examination is divided into similar categories of peripheral nerve (small unmyelinated vs large myelinated), spinal pathways, and brain. [1, 10]

Aside from defining motor and/or sensory involvement, the examination should assess various patterns, such as distal versus proximal, symmetry versus asymmetry, or isolated versus generalized findings, which can help to solidify a diagnostic impression and direct an appropriate selection of electrodiagnostic testing.

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