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EC-17: Tips and pitfalls in the interpretation of needle EMG

Date: Friday, October 2, 2015

Chairperson: Y. Péréon / M. Pitt

This educational session aims to improve the ability of the attending participants to interpret needle EMG. The analysis of needle EMG remains a real challenge while performing EMG examination. Everyone basically knows how to differentiate a typical neuropathic pattern from a typical myopathic pattern, or how to differentiate myotonic discharges from pseudo-myotonic discharges. But there are some difficult cases where both myopathic and neuropathic characteristics can be mixed, or where one mimics the other, leaving the EMGist puzzled. The objective of this session is, after having reminded the pathophysiological bases of needle EMG interpretation, and using practical examples with EMG videos picked up among routine examinations, to show that ‘pseudo-myopathic’ and ‘pseudo-neuropathic’ patterns do exist and may represent pitfalls that one should avoid; that spontaneous activities may also be confusing. The objective is also to explain how this can occur and to provide to the participants the tools to get the better of the EMG exam.