Electromyography, Nerve Conduction and Other Neurophysiological Techniques

  • Michael Swash
  • Martin Schwartz


The neuromuscular system can conveniently be investigated by electrophysiological techniques. These methods provide quantitative data which can be used both in diagnosis and in measuring the effects of treatment. The scope of these methods includes electromyography; motor and sensory nerve conduction; the measurement of the latencies of late responses, particularly F and H wave responses; and the assessment of repetitively evoked compound muscle action potentials (decrement testing) in disorders of neuromuscular transmission. In addition, evoked potential tests, particularly somatosensory evoked responses, brainstem evoked responses and blink reflex latencies are frequently valuable. The direct measurement of central motor conduction time, using electrical or electromagnetic stimulation of the central nervous system (CNS), and of motor conduction times from paravertebral stimulation of motor roots is also valuable. Various special applications of these techniques, e.g. macro EMG, scanning EMG and the use of surface and monopolar electrodes, are available, but are used relatively infrequently in routine clinical work.


Motor Unit Motor Nerve Conduction Velocity Anterior Horn Cell Motor Unit Potential Sensory Nerve Action Potential 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Swash
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Schwartz
    • 3
  1. 1.The London Hospital, London E1 and St Mark’s HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.The London Hospital Medical CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Atkinson Morley’s Hospital (St Georges’s Hospital)LondonUK

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