Validation of a technique for accurate fine-wire electrode placement into posterior gluteus medius using real-time ultrasound guidance

Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1997 Jan-Feb;37(1):39-47.


Fine-wire electromyography is primarily utilised for the recording of activity of the deep musculature, however, due to the location of these muscles, accurate electrode placement is difficult. Real-time ultrasound imaging (RTUI) of muscle tissue has been used for the guidance of the needle insertion for the placement of electrodes into the muscles of the abdominal wall. The validity of RTUI guidance of needle insertion into the deep muscles has not been determined. A cadaveric study was conducted to evaluate the accuracy with which RTUI can be used to guide fine-wire electrode placement using the posterior fibres of gluteus medius (PGM) as an example. Pilot studies revealed that the ultrasound resolution of cadaveric tissue is markedly reduced making it impossible to directly evaluate the technique, therefore, three studies were conducted. An initial study involved the demarcation of the anatomical boundaries of PGM using RTUI to define a technique based on an anatomical landmark that was consisent with the in vivo RTUI guided needle placement technique. This anatomical landmark was then used as the guide for the cadaveric needle insertion. Once the needle was positioned 0.05 ml of dye was introduced and the specimen dissected. The dye was accurately placed in PGM in 100% of the specimens. Finally, fine-wire electrodes were inserted into the PGM of five volunteers and manoeuvres performed indicating the accuracy of placement. This study supports the use of ultrasound imaging for the accurate guidance of needle insertion for fine-wire and needle EMG electrodes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Buttocks / diagnostic imaging*
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Electromyography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography