Accuracy of diagnoses delivered by an automated hand-held nerve conduction device in comparison to standard electrophysiological testing in patients with unilateral leg symptoms

Kevin Schmidt, Nataly Montes Chinea, Eric J. Sorenson, Jeffrey A. Strommen, Andrea J. Boon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Automated hand-held nerve conduction study (NCS) devices are being marketed for use in the diagnosis of lumbosacral radiculopathy (LSR). In this study we compared the specificity and sensitivity of a hand-held NCS device for the detection of LSR with standard electrodiagnostic study (EDX). Methods: Fifty patients referred to a tertiary referral electromyography (EMG) laboratory for testing of predominantly unilateral leg symptoms (weakness, sensory complaints, and/or pain) were included in the investigation. Twenty-five normal 'control' subjects were later recruited to calculate the specificity of the automated protocol. All patients underwent standard EDX and automated testing. Results: Raw NCS data were comparable for both techniques; however, computer-generated interpretations delivered by the automated device showed high sensitivity with low specificity (i.e., many false positives) in both symptomatic patients and normal controls. Conclusions: The automated device accurately recorded raw data, but the interpretations provided were overly sensitive and lacked the specificity necessary for a screening or diagnostic examination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • Automated nerve conduction studies
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Lumbosacral
  • Radiculopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)

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