What is the role of electromyography in the workup of diaphragmatic paralysis?

Updated: Oct 10, 2018
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Electromyography may reveal a neuropathic versus myopathic pattern, depending on the etiology. This can be accomplished by stimulation of the phrenic nerve at the neck. Phrenic nerve stimulation can be done with electrical (surface or needle electrodes) and magnet stimulation. Operator expertise is an important factor in testing.

Technical issues with electromyography include proper electrode placement to avoid “cross-talk” from adjacent muscles and variable results due to variable subcutaneous fat among individuals. [3]


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