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Diagnostic Laryngeal Electromyography: The Wake Forest Experience 1995–1999

J. Koufman, G. Postma, Chris Whang, C. J. Rees, M. Amin, P. Belafsky, P. Johnson, Kieran M. Connolly, F. O. Walker
Published 2001 ·

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BACKGROUND: Laryngeal electromyography (LEMG) is a valuable diagnostic/prognostic test for patients with suspected laryngeal neuromuscular disorders. OBJECTIVE: To report our experience with diagnostic LEMG at the Center for voice Disorders of Wake Forest University and to evaluate the impact of LEMG on clinical management. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of 415 patients who underwent diagnostic LEMG over a 5-year period (1995–1999). RESULTS: Of 415 studies, 83% (346 of 415) were abnormal, indicating a neuropathic process. LEMG results altered the diagnostic evaluation (eg, the type of radiographic imaging) in 11% (46 of 415) of the patients. Unexpected LEMG findings (eg, contralateral neuropathy) were found in 26% (107 of 415) of the patients, and LEMG results differentiated vocal fold paralysis from fixation in 12% (49 of 415). Finally, LEMG results altered the clinical management (eg, changed the timing and/or type of surgical procedure) in 40% (166 of 415) of the patients. CONCLUSIONS: LEMG is a valuable diagnostic test that aids the clinician in the diagnosis and management of laryngeal neuromuscular disorders.
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