Electrical impedance myography: Background, current state, and future directions

Muscle Nerve. 2009 Dec;40(6):936-46. doi: 10.1002/mus.21362.


Electrical impedance myography (EIM) is a non-invasive technique for the evaluation of neuromuscular disease that relies upon the application and measurement of high-frequency, low-intensity electrical current. EIM assesses disease-induced changes to the normal composition and architecture of muscle, including myocyte atrophy and loss, edema, reinnervation, and deposition of endomysial connective tissue and fat. With application of single-frequency electrical current, EIM can be used to help grade the severity of neuromuscular disease. Assessing electrical impedance across a spectrum of applied frequencies and with current flow at multiple orientations relative to major muscle fiber direction can provide a more complete picture of the condition of muscle. EIM holds the promise of serving as an indicator of disease status. It may be useful in clinical trials and in monitoring effectiveness of treatment in individual patients; ultimately, it may also find diagnostic application. Ongoing efforts have been focused on obtaining a deeper understanding of the basic mechanisms of impedance change, studying EIM in a variety of clinical contexts, and further refining the methods of EIM data acquisition and analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electric Impedance*
  • Electromyography / methods*
  • Electromyography / trends*
  • Humans
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / physiopathology