Clinical Case Database / Category: Practical Procedure

Does my patient need nerve conduction studies?

Publication details

Dr Siti Aisyah Yaacob, Dr Arup Mallik
Foundation Years Journal, volume 7, issue 7, p.46 (123Doc Education, London, July 2013)


What is a nerve conduction study? The terms nerve conduction study (NCS) and electromyography (EMG) are often used interchangeably but are separate parts of a neurophysiological examination. In the UK, medically qualified specialists called clinical neurophysiologists usually perform or supervise these tests. In this article, we give a brief introduction to the basic of NCS and EMG. A detailed account is beyond the scope of this paper but the reader is directed to the references for further information.

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Dr Siti Aisyah Yaacob (Corresponding author)

Specialty Training Registrar in Clinical Neurophysiology
Neurophysiology Department, Southern General Hospital
1345 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 4TF
Tel: 44 141 201 2480

Dr Arup Mallik

Consultant Clinical Neurophysiologist


1. Preston DC, Shapiro BE. Electromyography and Neuromuscular Disorders. Philadelphia, United States: Elsevier 2005.
2. Oh SJ. Principles of electromyography case studies. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 1998.
3. Fuller G. How to get the most out of nerve conduction studies and electromyography. J. Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2005, 76(Suppl II); ii41-ii46
4. Mallik A, Weir AI. Nerve Conduction Studies: Essentials and Pitfalls in Practice. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2005, 76(Suppl II): ii23-ii31.
5. Mills KR. The Basics of Electromyography. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2005, 76(Suppl II): ii32-ii35.
6. Whittaker RG. How to do it. SNAPs, CMAPs, F-waves: the nerve conduction studies for the uninitiated. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2012, 12: 108-115.


Conflict Of Interest

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All pictures and investigations shown in this article are shown with the patients’ consent. We require Authors to maintain patients’ anonymity and to obtain consent to report investigations and pictures involving human subjects when anonymity may be compromised. The Journal follows the Guidelines of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts ( The Journal requires in its Guidelines for Authors a statement from Authors that “the subject gave informed consent”.

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