EMG Pearls


  • Steven Greenberg, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Anthony Amato, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Chief, Neuromuscular Division, Director, Clinical Neurophysiology, Laboratory, Vice-Chairman, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Associate Neurologist and Neuromuscular Consultant, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

This title in the popular Pearls Series focuses on electrodiagnostic studies of neuromuscular diseases. EMGs and their interpretation are a major component of the specialty of physical medicine and rehab physicians, and they are important to neurologists and electromyographers. For each case, patient information is presented, the EMG findings are discussed, and the reader is asked to make a diagnosis based on these findings. The next page reveals the diagnosis, discussed the case and the medical condition in question, and then presents 3-4 pearls of practice distilled from the case.
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Neurologists, Physiatrists, Electromyographers


Book information

  • Published: March 2004
  • ISBN: 978-1-56053-613-0

Table of Contents



Case 1. A 60-year-old man with numbness and tingling in his hands for 1 year
Case 2. A 48-year old woman with numbness and tingling in both hands
Case 3. A 68-year-old woman with numbness and tingling in her hands
Case 4. A 53-year-old woman with right hand weakness and numbness after an axillary dissection
Case 5. A 36-year-old man with 2 years of numbness in his left hand digits 4 and 5
Case 6. A 55-year-old man with numbness in hand digits 4 and 5
Case 7. A 53-year-old woman with left hand weakness
Case 8. A 40-year-old woman referred for left carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy
Case 9. A 23-year-old woman with progressive weakness, atrophy, and numbness in one hand
Case 10. A 68-year-old man with metastatic melanoma and progressive left wrist drop for several months
Case 11. A 43-year-old man with scapular winging after a cervical lymph node biopsy
Case 12. A 51-year-old man with scapular winging after arthroscopic shoulder surgery
Case 13. A 23-year-old man with right arm weakness after a motorcycle accident
Case 14. 56-year-old woman 2 days after a left shoulder dislocation and closed reduction with diffuse left arm weakness
Case 15. A 56-year-old man with painful left hand weakness
Case 16. A 71-year-old man with left arm weakness for 1 month
Case 17. A 61-year-old woman with breast cancer, and right neck and shoulder pain and hand weakness and numbness 3 months prior to evaluation
Case 18. A 64-year-old man with right foot drop 6 weeks prior
Case 19. A 70-year-old woman with right foot drop after hip replacement
Case 20. A 38-year-old man with left foot weakness and numbness after prior treatment for a posterior thigh sarcoma
Case 21. A 73-year-old man with right leg numbness, weakness, and pain
Case 22. A 46-year-old woman with right leg pain and intermittent paresthesias
Case 23. A 57-year-old man with right leg weakness after repair of abdominal aortic and internal iliac artery aneurysms



Case 24. A 73-year-old man with an IgG-k paraprotein and several years of progressive numbness and weakness in the feet and hands
Case 25. A 43-year-old man with diabetes and multiple neurologic symptoms
Case 26. A 73-year-old man with diabetes and several months of chest pain
Case 27. A 55-year-old woman with 6 months of progressive numbness in her feet
Case 28. A 71-year-old woman with several years of progressive numbness in her hands and feet
Case 29. A 38-year-old man with numbness and weakness in the hands and feet and a skin rash
Case 30. A 64-year-old woman with left severe shoulder pain and weakness of shoulder abduction for 3 days, followed by progressive neurologic deficits
Case 31. A 38-year-old man with fever and acute generalized weakness and distal numbness
Case 32. A 66-year-old woman with numbness in her hands and feet and progressive generalized weakness
Case 33. 43-year-old woman with progressive generalized weakness and numbness for 5 months
Case 34. A 48-year-old man with acute progressive numbness and paresthesias in his hands and feet and generalized weakness
Case 35. A 49-year-old woman with numbness in her right hand and both feet
Case 36. A 35-year-old woman with numbness in her hands and feet for 3 weeks and a right facial palsy for several days
Case 37. A 68-year-old woman with slowly progressive weakness in her legs without paresthesias
Case 38. A 32-year-old woman with a severe neuropathy since childhood
Case 39. A 33-year-old woman with long-standing asymmetric weakness in all four limbs and a family history of neuropathy
Case 40. A 72-year-old woman with 12 years of progressive numbness and paresthesias in her hands and feet and mild gait ataxia
Case 41. A 41-year-old woman with an 11-year history of progressive numbness in her limbs
Case 42. A 43-year-old woman with acute generalized weakness developing 1 month into her intensive care unit stay for sepsis and multiorgan failure



Case 43. A 17-year-old woman with progressive dysarthria and dysphagia for 4 months
Case 44. A 71-year-old man with subacute symmetrical proximal weakness
Case 45. A 34-year-old woman with generalized weakness since infancy



Case 46. A 55-year-old man with progressive left hand weakness for 6 months
Case 47. A 3-month-old boy with congenital hypotonia and weakness
Case 48. A 66-year-old man with a 5-year history of progressive weakness and wasting of his distal right leg
Case 49. A 45-year-old woman with a 5-year history of cramps and twitching in and 2-year history of weakness in her left forearm



Case 50. A 49-year-old woman with progressive proximal leg weakness for 3 years
Case 51. A 6-month-old girl with generalized weakness since birth
Case 52. A 29-year-old man with a cardiomyopathy
Case 53. A 62-year-old man with slowly progressive weakness
Case 54. A 46-year-old woman with a 2-year history of proximal leg and arm weakness
Case 55. A 59-year-old woman with proximal weakness and a rash
Case 56. A 70-year-old man with difficulty climbing stairs for several years
Case 57. A 50-year-old woman with HIV infection and weakness of her arms and legs for 6 months
Case 58. An 85-year-old woman with progressive leg weakness and myalgias
Case 59. A patient with acquired rippling muscle disorder
Case 60. A 75-year-old woman with difficulty holding her head up



Case 61. A 39-year-old woman with 3–4 years of progressive difficulty using her right hand for writing but no difficulty buttoning, typing, or using utensils
Case 62. A 47-year-old man with progressive difficulty in writing for 5 years
Case 63. A 45-year-old woman with several years of difficulty with her right hand limited to writing