To investigate the diagnostic validity of electromyography in the hypotonic infant, 79 children aged 0 to 12 months, seen over a 20-year period, were studied retrospectively. The diagnoses using clinical, muscle biopsy, and laboratory characteristics were: 25 central hypotonia, 20 spinal muscular atrophy, 20 myopathy, four myotonic dystrophy, four benign congenital hypotonia, two congenital muscular dystrophy, two myasthenia gravis, one infantile inflammatory myopathy, and one arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. Using strict criteria, electromyography accurately predicted the final diagnosis in 65% of infants with spinal muscular atrophy and was consistent with the diagnosis in another 25%. In contrast, electromyography accurately predicted the final diagnosis in only 10% of infants with myopathy and was normal in 88% of infants with central hypotonia. In infants with spinal muscular atrophy, there was no difference in the predictive value of electromyography when performed in the newborn compared to older infants. Normal distal nerve conduction velocities in infants with spinal muscular atrophy may predict prognosis, since these infants had a longer survival. Electromyography thus has a high predictive value for infantile spinal muscular atrophy but not for myopathy. (J Child Neurol 1992;7:387-391).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology