Laryngeal electromyography: a proposal for guidelines of the European Laryngological Society

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Oct;269(10):2227-45. doi: 10.1007/s00405-012-2036-1. Epub 2012 May 11.


Although recognized as a valuable diagnostic tool for more than 60 years, many laryngologists do not routinely use laryngeal electromyography (LEMG). This may be due to a persisting lack of agreement on methodology, interpretation, validity, and clinical application of LEMG. To achieve consensus in these fields, a laryngeal electromyography working group of European neurolaryngologic experts was formed in order to (1) evaluate guidelines for LEMG performance and (2) identify issues requiring further clarification. To obtain an overview of existing knowledge and research, English-language literature about LEMG was identified using Medline. Additionally, cited works not detected in the initial search were screened. Evidence-based recommendations for the performance and interpretation of LEMG and also for electrostimulation for functional evaluation were considered, as well as published reports based on expert opinion and single-institution retrospective case series. To assess the data obtained by this literature evaluation, the working group met five times and performed LEMG together on more than 20 patients. Subsequently, the results were presented and discussed at the 8th Congress of the European Laryngological Society in Vienna, Austria, September 1-4, 2010, and consensus was achieved in the following areas: (1) minimum requirements for the technical equipment required to perform and record LEMG; (2) best practical implementation of LEMG; (3) criteria for interpreting LEMG. Based on this consensus, prospective trials are planned to improve the quality of evidence guiding the proceedings of practitioners.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Electromyography / instrumentation
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Electromyography / standards*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Laryngeal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Laryngeal Muscles / physiopathology
  • Societies, Medical
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / diagnosis
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / physiopathology