The appropriateness of referrals for electromyography studies Elektromyografi çalişmalari i̇çin yapilan i̇stemlerin uygunluǧu


Journal of Rheumatology and Medical Rehabilitation, vol.20, no.4, pp.115-119, 2009 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Journal Name: Journal of Rheumatology and Medical Rehabilitation
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.115-119
  • Keywords: Electromyography, Referral and consultation
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Electrodiagnostic studies are commonly performed as a part of overall evaluation of the patients with a suspected neuromuscular diseases and also give information about localization and severity of the lesion. The aim of this study was to describe the demographic characteristics of the patients referred to our electromyography (EMG) laboratory and determine how often the referral diagnosis could be confirmed or not. Material and Methods: 480 consecutive patients admitted to our EMG laboratory were evaluated retrospectively. Speciality of the referring physician, referral diagnosis and the electrophysiological conclusions were recorded. Results: The mean age of the patients was 49.0±14.5 years and 83.5% of them were women. The most common referral sources were physiatrists (40.6%) and rheumatologists (30.9%), followed by orthopaedic surgeons and neurologists. Carpal tunnel syndrome (66.3%) was the most common referral diagnosis and it was confirmed electrophysiologically in 44.5% of the patients. The other diagnostic groups were polyneuropathies, radiculopathies, plexus lesions and muscle disorders, respectively. Electrodiagnostic study results were normal in 51% of the patients. Conclusion: The percentage of abnormal EMG studies in our center was lower than the other European country's average. Although judging appropriateness of referrals to EMG examination is subjective, this result probably points to a lower appropriateness of referrals to our laboratory compared with these centers. Therefore, more selective referral of examinees would ligthen the burden on the laboratory and shorten waiting time for patients who really need this valuable examination. Copyright © 2009 by Türk Tibbi Rehabilitasyon Kurumu Derneǧi.