Single muscle fiber discharges (Insertional activity, end-plate potentials, positive sharp waves, and fibrillation potentials): A unifying proposal

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Abstract

The exact origin and precise morphologic explanation of positive sharp waves (PSWs) are presently lacking. Observing normal needle electromyographic insertional activity reveals two types of waveforms: (1) biphasic negative/positive spikes, and (2) positive spikes followed by a small negative phase. In the end-plate region, it is possible to occasionally observe a biphasic end-plate spike transform into a monophasic positive end-plate waveform. It is postulated that this waveform is simply a form of intracellular recording for the biphasic end-plate spike or a form of extracellularly recorded but blocked single muscle fiber discharge. Similarly, the observed monophasic positive insertional activity may be an intracellularly recorded single muscle fiber discharge or a blocked extracellular discharge originating about the needle electrode. Applying this reasoning to PSWs suggests that they may also be an intracellular recording of a fibrillation potential, or needle-induced extracellular blocked local single muscle fiber discharge. This unifying concept is applied to various clinical situations purported to demonstrate "different" types of PSWs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Volume19
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996

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Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
Needles
Muscles
Electrodes

Keywords

  • Fibrillation potentials
  • Insertional activity
  • Intracellular recordings
  • Positive sharp waves
  • Single muscle fiber discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

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