J Clin Neurol.  2012 Mar;8(1):1-14. 10.3988/jcn.2012.8.1.1.

Pitfalls in Using Electrophysiological Studies to Diagnose Neuromuscular Disorders

  • 1Department of Neurology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. nukbj@korea.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Neurology, Jeju Medical Center of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Jeju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Neurology and Neurological Science, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA, USA.


Electrodiagnostic testing is used widely for the full characterization of neuromuscular disorders and for providing unique information on the processes underlying the pathology of peripheral nerves and muscles. However, such testing should be considered as an extension of anamnesis and physical examination, not as pathognomonic of a specific disease entity. There are many pitfalls that could lead to erroneous interpretation of electrophysiological study results when the studies are not performed properly or if they are performed in the presence of anatomical aberrations. The diagnostic reliability of electrodiagnostic studies can be improved and the associated pitfalls overcome if the physician is familiar with all of those possible pitfalls. In this article we discuss the most common and important pitfalls associated with electrodiagnostic medicine.


electrodiagnostic study; pitfalls; neuromuscular disorders; nerve conduction study; electromyography

MeSH Terms

Peripheral Nerves
Physical Examination
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