Routine electrodiagnosis and a multiparameter technique in lumbosacral radiculopathies

Acta Neurol Scand. 2008 Aug;118(2):99-105. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2007.00987.x. Epub 2008 Mar 18.


Objective: This study compares Routine nerve conductions studies (NCS)/needle electromyography (nEMG) with a multiparameter recording method (NC-stat; NeuroMetrix Inc., Waltham, MA, USA) in patients with lumbosacral radiculopathies (LSR).

Methods: Charts from 34 consecutive patients with a clinical history and/or examination consistent with an LSR were retrospectively reviewed. All underwent both Routine NCS/nEMG studies and NC-stat EDX. NC-stat testing included peroneal and posterior tibial nerve distal motor latencies and amplitudes and F-wave analysis. Twenty-eight patients had magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbosacral spine, and two had post-myelogram computerized tomography scan.

Results: In the 24 patients with abnormal routine NCS/nEMG, NC-stat EDX was abnormal in 22. Raw agreement values between specific abnormal Routine and NC-stat EDX parameters ranged from 065 to 0.76. NC-stat amplitude and F-wave data provide reasonable electrodiagnostic 'rule in, rule out' information for LSR. Routine and NC-stat EDX had comparable positive and negative likelihood ratios with radiographic findings based on blinded neuroradiological evaluation. This included good 'stand alone' values for NC-stat F-wave and compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude abnormalities in patients with spinal stenosis.

Conclusions: This report supports the value of multiparameter clinical neurophysiological evaluations in patients with LSR including CMAPs and F-waves.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Electrodiagnosis / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis*
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Lumbosacral Region*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peroneal Nerve / physiology
  • Radiculopathy / diagnosis*
  • Radiculopathy / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tibial Nerve / physiology