Design and pilot testing of a 26-gauge impedance-electromyography needle in wild-type and ALS mice

Muscle Nerve. 2022 Jun;65(6):702-708. doi: 10.1002/mus.27551. Epub 2022 Apr 14.


Introduction/aims: Needle impedance-electromyography (iEMG) is a diagnostic modality currently under development that combines intramuscular electrical impedance with concentric electromyography (EMG) in a single needle. We designed, manufactured, and tested a prototype iEMG needle in a cohort of wild-type (WT) and SOD1G93A amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice to assess its ability to record impedance and EMG data.

Methods: A new six-electrode, 26-gauge, iEMG needle was designed, manufactured and tested. Quantitative impedance and qualitative "gestalt" EMG were performed sequentially on bilateral quadriceps of 16-wk-old SOD1G93A ALS (N = 6) and WT (N = 6) mice by connecting the needle first to an impedance analyzer (with the animal at rest) and then to a standard EMG system (with the animal fully under anesthesia to measure spontaneous activity and briefly during awakening to measure voluntary activity). The needle remained in the muscle throughout the measurement period.

Results: EMG data were qualitatively similar to that observed with a commercially available concentric EMG needle; fibrillation potentials were observed in 84% of the ALS mice and none of the WT mice; motor unit potentials were also readily identified. Impedance data revealed significant differences in resistance, reactance, and phase values between the two groups, with ALS animals having reduced reactance and resistance values.

Discussion: This work demonstrates the feasibility of a single iEMG needle conforming to standard dimensions of size and function. Further progress of iEMG technology for enhanced neuromuscular diagnosis and quantification of disease status is currently in development.

Keywords: ALS; needle impedance-electrical impedance myography.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis* / diagnosis
  • Animals
  • Electric Impedance
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Muscles
  • Needles