The Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory/EMG Testing

The Neuromuscular diagnostic lab at Methodist Plaza Specialty is the premier site in Des Moines to obtain testing for patients with suspected disorders of peripheral nerves and muscles. The lab is equipped with advanced technology and highly sophisticated computerized equipment. This allows our physicians to assess the condition or damage of a patient's nerves and muscles.

Common disorders that we identify include: 

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ulnar neuropathy
  •  Cervical and Lumbar Nerve Root Problems (e.g., sciatica)
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Myasthenia Gravis (MG)
  • Muscular Dystrophies
  • Other myopathies

Why Choose Our EMG Lab Services

Our Physicians are board-certified in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology. We are equipped to provide comprehensive evaluations in a thoughtful, caring manner so we can determine if a patient is suffering from a simple nerve compression or something more serious. Our technologist is also highly experienced and certified in Neurophysiology.

We are one of the few neuromuscular labs in Iowa that can perform complex neurophysiologic testing, such as single fiber EMG, repetitive nerve stimulation, blink reflex and EMG-guided botulinum toxin injections.

EMGs

Electromyography (EMG) records the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles. An electromyograph detects the electrical potential generated by muscle cells when they are electrically or neurologically activated.

EMGs are used to diagnose myopathies, neuropathies and neuromuscular junction diseases. It is also used for guided botulism, or treatment of spasticity with botulism products.

EMGs are available as a diagnostic test, or can be completed in conjunction with a neurology consultation, depending on the preference of the patient's primary care or referring physician.

Our clinic performs both surface EMG and intramuscular (needle and fine-wire) EMG. Each has its place in accurate diagnosis. 

Scheduling EMG Tests 

EMG testing requires a physician referral but does not require consultation with a neurologist. We can provide EMG testing alone or EMG testing with a neurology consultation.

Nerve Conduction Studies

Nerve conduction studies (NCSs) show how well the body's electrical signals are traveling to a nerve.

Needle EMG

This test is used to obtain information about electrical signals in the nerves of a muscle during rest and when the muscle is contracted. The shape, size, and frequency of resulting motor unit potentials can be measured.  

Repetitive Nerve Stimulation

This electro-diagnostic test is used to evaluate neuromuscular junction disorders, such as Myasthenia Gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome.  

Ischemic Forearm Exercise Test

This test is used to help diagnose metabolic myopathies, such as Glycogen storage diseases and myodenylate deaminase deficiency.

Skin Biopsy (for inter-epidermal nerve fiber analysis)

This test aids in the diagnosis of small fiber neuropathy. A lower number of identified nerves in the epidermis are consistent with damage to small nerve fibers.