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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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