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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE
Rivista di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa dopo Eventi Patologici
Official Journal of the , , , ,
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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,063
Europa Medicophysica 2000 December;35(4):183-90
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.