Skip to Main Content
Of interest here is the problem of determining to what extent combinations of parameters derived from the EMG signal allow 1) discriminating two subclasses of neurogenic myopathies, and 2) recognizing different morphologies of the motor unit action potential underlying a measured EMG signal. EMG signals measured on clinical subjects and computer-simulated EMG signals were collected in a database and used cooperatively in this study. Suitable statistical models were developed which allow testing hypotheses on the role of accepted EMG parameters for the two purposes named above, and deriving new suitable combinations of EMG parameters. Results support the hypothesis that frequency-domain parameters are very clearly related to the morphology of the motor unit action potential. However, the attempt to use them in order to discriminate the two pathologic subclasses considered appears to be jeopardized by the fact that the signal may be measured in territories which do not reflect the morphology of the motor unit action potential dominant in such subclasses. On the basis of time-domain parameters, a significant discrimination was obtained between the two subclasses, and such discrimination is related mainly to a time-domain parameter which has already proved successful in the discrimination between myopathic and normal subjects. Data corroborate the hypothesis that the diagnostic yield improves when time-domain EMG parameters are measured at recruitment.