Neuromuscular Ultrasound: Indications in the Electrodiagnostic Laboratory

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2022 Jan 1;101(1):78-88. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001790.


Accurate assessment of neuromuscular disorders is critical to facilitate timely treatment and achieve the best outcomes. Historically, electrodiagnostic studies have filled this role, but recently, neuromuscular ultrasound is being used in the electrodiagnostic laboratory. This review discusses the uses of neuromuscular ultrasound in the electrodiagnostic laboratory that have strong evidence, emphasizing those that could be adopted in a typical electrodiagnostic laboratory with a reasonable level of equipment and training. The evidence currently supports using neuromuscular ultrasound to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathies at the elbow and as a supplementary test when electrodiagnostic studies are suspected to be falsely negative or in axonal nonlocalizing lesions. Neuromuscular ultrasound can identify the causes of focal mononeuropathies, which can change treatment in specific cases. It is sensitive at identifying fasciculations and providing complementary evidence of autoimmune demyelinating polyneuropathies. It is particularly helpful in assessing nerves after trauma. Neuromuscular ultrasound is likely to prove even more useful in the electrodiagnostic laboratory as the technology continues to advance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Elbow / diagnostic imaging
  • Electrodiagnosis / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laboratories
  • Mononeuropathies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*