Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute provides its patients with
electromyography and nerve conduction testing in the convenience of our own
outpatient facility. Accurate diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.
There are multiple different types of conditions that affect the nerves in
our body. It is now possible to accelerate patient care by eliminating unwanted
referrals and long waiting periods for nerve conduction results. Our specially
trained technologists use state-of-the-art equipment to accurately evaluate
patients on-site for peripheral neuropathies, such as Diabetic Neuropathy,
Tarsal Tunnel & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, with great speed and accuracy.
Patients can expect EMG technologists and neurologists who are among the best
in their specialties. We emphasize a rapid turn-around time that has results
back within 48 hours, and same-day callbacks for critical results.
An electromyogram (EMG) measures the electrical impulses of muscles at rest
and during contraction. Nerve
conduction studies, which measure nerve conduction
velocity, determine how well individual nerves can transmit electrical signals.
Nerves control the muscles in the body using electrical impulses, and these
impulses make the muscles react in specific ways. Nerve and muscle disorders
cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways.
Measuring the electrical activity in muscles and nerves can help detect the
presence, location, and extent of diseases that can damage muscle tissue (such
as muscular dystrophy) or nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). In the
case of nerve injury, the actual site of nerve damage can often be located. EMG
and nerve conduction studies are usually done together to provide more complete
Why It Is Done
An electromyogram (EMG) is done to:
- Diagnose diseases that damage muscle tissue, nerves, or the junctions
between nerve and muscle (neuromuscular junctions). These disorders include a
herniated disc, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or myasthenia gravis
- Evaluate the cause of weakness, paralysis, involuntary muscle twitching,
or other symptoms. Problems in a muscle, the nerves supplying a muscle, the
spinal cord, or the area of the brain that controls a muscle can all cause
these kinds of symptoms.
Nerve conduction studies are done to:
- Detect and evaluate damage to the peripheral nervous system, which
includes all the nerves that lead away from the brain and spinal cord and the
smaller nerves that branch out from those nerves. Nerve conduction studies are
often used to help diagnose nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or
- Identify the location of abnormal sensations, such as numbness, tingling,
Both EMG and nerve conduction studies can help diagnose a condition called
post-polio syndrome that may develop months to years after a person has had
How To Prepare
Patients should notify their doctor if:
- They are taking any medications. Certain medications that act on the
nervous system (such as muscle relaxants and anticholinergics) can interfere
with an electromyogram (EMG) results. Patients may need to stop taking these
medications 3 to 6 days prior to having the test.
- Have had bleeding problems or are taking medications that thin the blood,
such as warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin.
- Have a pacemaker.
Patients do not need to restrict your food or fluids. Do not smoke for at
least 3 hours before the test. Patients should wear loose-fitting clothing that
permits access to the muscles and nerves to be tested.