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A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Europa Medicophysica 2000 December;35(4):183-90


language: English

Surface EMG testing: sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values

Sella G. E.

Ohio Valley Disability Institute, Martins Ferry, OH, USA


BACKGROUND: This ­study eval­u­at­ed the mag­ni­tude of sen­si­tiv­ity, spec­i­fic­ity, pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive pre­dic­tive val­ues of S-EMG in the eval­u­a­tion of mus­cles affect­ed by myo­fas­cial ­pain syn­drome (MPS).
METHODS: The eval­u­a­tion was ­based on ret­ro­spec­tive ­data of 572 bilat­er­al mus­cles test­ed ­with ­SEMG dynam­ic pro­to­cols. The sub­jects pre­sent­ed ­with myo­fas­cial ­pain and dys­func­tion sub­se­quent to ­soft tis­sue inju­ries 1-3 ­years old. The ­study com­prised the 10 ­major ­joints of the ­body. The dura­tion of ­each ­test was approx­i­mate­ly 30 min­utes. Setting: The test­ing was con­duct­ed in a ­physician’s clin­i­cal ­office. Participants: A num­ber of ­patients and eva­luees S-EMG ­tests ­were ­reviewed ret­ro­spec­tive­ly. Three hun­dred and two mus­cles ­came ­from ­adult ­females and 270 ­came ­from ­adult ­males. The age of the sub­jects ­ranged ­between 21-61, ­with no dif­fer­ence ­based on gen­der. The BMI ­ranged ­between 22-32 ­with no gen­der dif­fer­ence. The par­tic­i­pants ­agreed to under­go the S-EMG test­ing as ­part of ­their dis­abil­ity eval­u­a­tion or clin­i­cal inves­ti­ga­tion pro­cess. Interventions: The S-EMG test­ing was non-inva­sive. None of the par­tic­i­pants had ­skin aller­gy to alco­hol swab­bing or to the sur­face elec­trode gel or ­glue. None of the test­ing was per­ceived as fatigu­ing by the par­tic­i­pants. Measures: The sta­tis­ti­cal ­data gath­ered ­involved the fol­low­ing param­e­ters: (a) aver­age activ­ity poten­tials ­through the over­all ROM test­ing (the ROM test­ing seg­ments for ­each ­joint ­described in the AMA Guides); (b) min­i­mal rest­ing poten­tials ­through the over­all ROM test­ing; (c) per­cent­age dif­fer­ence ­between nor­mal and abnor­mal rest­ing and activ­ity val­ues ­based on com­par­i­sons ­with ref­er­ence val­ues ­from a ­data ­base 6401 mus­cles; (d) sta­tis­ti­cal sum­ma­tion of the ­results in ­four cat­e­go­ries: (1) nor­mal: nor­mal rest­ing and activ­ity val­ues, asymp­to­mat­ic mus­cles (­true neg­a­tive); (2) abnor­mal: abnor­mal rest­ing and activ­ity val­ues, symp­to­mat­ic mus­cles (­true pos­i­tive); (3) nor­mal: nor­mal rest­ing and abnor­mal activ­ity val­ues, asymp­to­mat­ic mus­cles (­false pos­i­tive); (4) abnor­mal rest­ing and nor­mal activ­ity val­ues, symp­to­mat­ic mus­cles (­false neg­a­tive). (e) com­put­ing of sen­si­tiv­ity, spec­i­fic­ity, pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive pre­dic­tive val­ues for the un-­weighed and ­weighed ­data.
RESULTS: The over­all ­results indi­cat­ed the fol­low­ing: (a) un-­weighed ­data: sen­si­tiv­ity=61%, spec­i­fic­ity=78%, pos­i­tive pre­dic­tive val­ue=67% and neg­a­tive pre­dic­tive val­ue=73%; (b) ­weighed ­data: sen­si­tiv­ity=56%, spec­i­fic­ity=77%, pos­i­tive pre­dic­tive val­ue=59% and neg­a­tive pre­dic­tive val­ue=75%.
CONCLUSIONS: S-EMG dynam­ic pro­to­cols per­formed ­through 10 ­joints ROM on 572 bilat­er­al mus­cles ­show a mod­er­ate to ­high sen­si­tiv­ity, spec­i­fic­ity, pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive pre­dic­tive val­ues.

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