What are the contraindications for single-fiber electromyography (SFEMG)?

Updated: Mar 13, 2019
  • Author: Pradeep C Bollu, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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The following technical items should be considered when performing single-fiber electromyography:

  • The electromyographer must have considerable experience with SFEMG to be able to perform adequate studies on most patients. Many EMG machines incorporate automated jitter analysis techniques that can greatly reduce analysis time.

  • Most adult patients can cooperate for adequate SFEMG studies. Patient discomfort rarely limits the use of this test, even when several muscles must be examined.

  • If the patient has a tremor, making adequate recordings from distal arm muscles during voluntary activation may be impossible. In such cases, recordings usually can be made from facial or more proximal arm muscles. Alternatively, recordings of jitter can be made during axonal stimulation.

  • Children older than 8 years usually can cooperate well enough for adequate studies. In uncooperative children, jitter studies can be performed with axonal stimulation under sedation.

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