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Keywords:

  • jitter;
  • neuromuscular transmission;
  • SFEMG;
  • concentric needle electrode;
  • EMG

Abstract

Neuromuscular jitter is generally recorded with a single fiber (SF) electromyography (EMG) electrode. Due to concern about using reusable needle electrodes, an acceptable alternative for the SF electrode has been sought. This is a review of the issues involved in using disposable concentric needle (CN) electrodes to measure jitter. Signals recorded with CN electrodes frequently represent the summation of many single fiber action potentials, which will decrease the apparent jitter. The influence of these artifacts on the final result also depends on the analysis method. Reference values obtained with CN electrodes correlate with SF EMG values, but they are a few microseconds lower. Overall results show that the CN method is a good alternative to SFEMG and will facilitate the use of jitter analysis. The results must be interpreted with caution, particularly in borderline cases, but they may be acceptable for clinical use when SF electrodes cannot be used. Muscle Nerve 40: 331–339, 2009