Lumbosarcral radiculopathties--the importance of EDX information other than needle electromyography

Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 2007 Nov-Dec;47(7-8):377-84.


Objective: This study evaluates the importance of varying electrodiagnostic (EDX) parameters abnormalities in patients with possible lumbosacral radiculopathies (LSR).

Methods: 34 patients referred for EDX studies with clinical findings consistent with a LSR without other causes for their symptoms were evaluated. Studies included not only standard (Routine EDX) nerve conduction studies (NCS) including F-waves and needle electromyography (nEMG) but also a multiparameter automated analysis system using prefabricated nerve conduction electrodes without nEMG (NC-stat EDX).

Results: Abnormal Routine EDX was present in 24 of the patients. Abnormal nEMG was present in only 14 of these patients, all of whom also had other relevant NCS abnormalities. Abnormal NC-stat EDX was found in 29 of the patients. In all but one patient there was agreement in the radicular localization between Routine and NC-stat EDX. In 30 patients, there was recent computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbosacral region. Comparable statistical agreements with the radiographic information were obtained for Routine EDX and NC-stat data. This was true including when the analyses were based on the neuroradiological evaluation of likely root injury.

Conclusion: This study emphasizes the importance of EDX studies other than nEMG in the evaluation of patients with possible LSR and supports the value of a computerized mutliparameter methodology in these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electrodiagnosis / methods*
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiculopathy / diagnosis*
  • Radiculopathy / physiopathology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spinal Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Spinal Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed