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Keywords:

  • anticoagulant;
  • aspirin;
  • complications of electromyography;
  • electromyography;
  • iatrogenic disease

Abstract

Little is known about the complications of needle electromyography (EMG) performed on anticoagulated patients, and no guidelines exist regarding its performance. We conducted an anonymous survey of academic EMG laboratories in the U.S. to understand current practices and complications with regard to anticoagulated patients and those receiving antiplatelet medications. Forty-seven (78%) of 60 EMG laboratories responded to the survey. Four laboratories (9%) reported at least one hemorrhagic complication requiring medical or surgical intervention in an anticoagulated patient, whereas none reported a hemorrhagic complication in patients receiving antiplatelet medications. Ten (21%) reported willingness to evaluate cranial, paraspinal, and all limb muscles in anticoagulated patients. This survey suggests that hemorrhagic complications from needle EMG of anticoagulated patients are rare. It also suggests that needle EMG of patients receiving antiplatelet therapy is not associated with increased reports of hemorrhagic complications. Muscle Nerve, 2006