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Keywords:

  • concentric needle electrode;
  • extensor digitorum communis;
  • jitter;
  • orbicularis oculi;
  • single-fiber electromyography

Abstract

The aim of this study was to estimate normal jitter in voluntarily activated extensor digitorum communis (EDC) and orbicularis oculi (OOc) muscles using a disposable concentric needle electrode (CNE). The EDC of 67 normal subjects (22 males and 45 females, mean age 35.5 ± 10.2 years) and the OOc of 50 normal subjects (13 males and 37 females, mean age 37.9 ± 9.6 years) were studied. Jitter values were expressed as the mean consecutive difference (MCD) of 20 potential pairs. The mean MCD for EDC was 23.6 ± 3.1 μs (upper 95% confidence limit [CL]: 29.7 μs). The mean MCD of all potential pairs (n = 1340) was 23.5 ± 7.3 μs (95% CL: 38.2 μs). The mean MCD for the 18th highest value was 31.4 ± 4.9 μs (95% CL: 41.2 μs). The mean MCD for OOc was 24.7 ± 3.1 μs (95% CL: 31.0 μs). The mean MCD of all potential pairs (n = 1000) was 24.7 ± 7.1 μs (95% CL: 39.0 μs). The mean MCD for the 18th highest value was 32.7 ± 4.1 μs (95% CL: 40.9 μs). Our reported CNE jitter values obtained during voluntary activation represent the largest series currently available. The suggested practical limit in the EDC for mean MCD was 30 μs and for outliers was 42 μs, and in the OOc for mean MCD was 31 μs and 41 μs for outliers. The present study confirms that CNE can be used to assess jitter values, although certain precautions must be taken. Muscle Nerve 37: 694–699, 2008