A7. EMG and ENG

Page created on April 4, 2022. Last updated on June 14, 2022 at 12:07


Electromyography (EMG) and electroneurography (ENoG, also called nerve conduction studies (NCS)) are both neurophysiological studies. EMG measures the electrical activity of muscles in response to neural stimulation, while NCS records the conduction of action potentials along the nerve fibres.

These investigations are sensitive but not disease specific. They provide information as to whether the patient’s problem are due to problems with the muscle, nerve, or the neuromuscular synapse. They complement each other and are often performed in the same setting.


  • Differentiate neuropathic from myopathic muscle weakness
  • Evaluation of myopathy and neuropathy

Nerve conduction study is useful in the evaluation of peripheral nerves, plexuses, and nerve roots. A variant of the nerve conduction study is the repetitive nerve stimulation (RNS) study, which is useful in the evaluation of disorders of the neuromuscular junction.

Electromyography is useful in evaluation of both myopathy and neuropathy. A variant of EMG, called single fibre EMG, is useful for neuromuscular junction disorders as well.


During EMG, either surface or intramuscular needle electrodes are used. Needle electrodes are inserted into different sites of the muscle. The electrical activity of the muscle is measured both during rest and during active movement. For regular EMG, concentric needle electrodes are used, which measure motor unit action potentials (MUAPs). For single fibre EMG, a special single fibre electrode is used.

During NCS, surface electrodes are placed at two or more points along a nerve or muscle, which measure compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) or sensory nerve action potentials (SNAPs). One of these electrodes applies an electrical stimulus to the nerve, and the others measure various parameters of the resulting conducted action potential.

EMG findings

Spontaneous fibrillation and positive sharp wavesDenervation
Complex repetitive dischargesDenervation
Myotonic dischargeMyotonia
Increased jitter (only in single-fibre EMG)Reduced NMJ tramission time (myasthenia gravis)
Abnormal MUAPI don’t even know, this shit is complex and I’m tired

NCS findings

Reduced amplitude (of CMAP or SNAP)Axonal degeneration
Reduced conduction velocityDemyelination
Temporal dispersionDemyelination

Previous page:

Next page:
26. Neuropathic pain

Parent page:

One thought on “A7. EMG and ENG”

  1. A good tip:

    Amboss have a nice chart on EMG on different features of EMG and how they are differ in neuropathies and myopathies.

    As always, thank you for your incredible work! 😀

Leave a Reply

Inputting your name is optional. All comments are anonymous.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.