Differences in the handling of the EMG examination at seven European laboratories

B. Johnsen, A. Fuglsang-Frederiksen, S. Vingtoft, P. Fawcett, R. Liguori, W. Nix, G. Otte, J. Proença, I. Schofield, G. Sieben, M. Veloso, A. Vila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was undertaken to analyse epidemiological and methodological differences in referral pattern, examination techniques and distribution of diagnoses among different European EMG laboratories. Seven European EMG laboratories filled in questionnaires and sampled 700 cases retrospectively. The use of needle or surface electrodes for nerve studies and the selection of quantitative techniques for muscle studies considerable variation. The pattern of referral varied with respect to the type of referral source and the neurological expertise of the referring physician. The proportion of patients without any neurophysiological abnormality ranged from 16 to 33%. The 3 most common diagnostic groups were mononeuropathies, polyneuropathies and radiculopathies although a great inter-laboratory variation was found. The proportion of patients with multiple diagnoses varied from 0 to 23% and most of these diagnoses were from a few known combinations. The presence of an inter-laboratory variation suggests that the quality of the EMG examination may be improved by focussing on the use of techniques, strategies and diagnostic criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-158
Number of pages4
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology - Evoked Potentials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Electromyography
  • Epidemiology
  • Examination techniques
  • Interlaboratory variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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