Clinical application of laryngeal electromyography – a point of view

Open access

Abstract

In recent years, the clinical importance of laryngeal electromyography (LEMG) has been recognized. This method of investigation proved itself to be a valuable and indispensable tool regarding voice disorder management and requires multidisciplinary approach.

In this article, we focus on the clinical usefulness of LEMG to assess inferior and superior motor neuron integrity by recording action potentials generated by muscle fibers of the larynx in the new field known as neurolaryngology. To facilitate the clinical application of this electrophysiologic test, we present a detailed description of LEMG techniques, which were applied for simultaneous bilateral recordings of the thyroarytenoid, cricothyroid and posterior cricoarytenoid muscles. Also, we analysed and measured the following electrophysiological parameters: 1) insertional activity; 2) spontaneous activity; 3) recruitment; 4) morphology of waveform.

From a practical point of view, in our country, LEMG performance is still not a routine procedure in ENT and Phoniatric Departments. The difficulty of practical use of LEMG in Romania consists in technical limitations and it depends on the physician’s experience regarding the examination technique and also the interpretation of electrophysiological results.

Our current clinical experience shows that the use of LEMG contributes especially to the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of patients with neurolaryngological disorders.

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