The electrical activity of the anterior abdominal muscles was examined with the aid of electromyography (EMG). Fifty patients with suspected peritonitis and three healthy volunteers were observed. Forty-two of the patients underwent surgery and in 38 peritonitis was found. The pattern of electrical activity in patients with peritonitis was different from the normal in three stages of examination. Electrical activity was observed at rest and residual electrical activity was present after cough or pressure on the contralateral side of the abdomen. Results of EMG were normal in the patients when no peritonitis was found at operation, and in all where the abdominal signs were due to extraabdominal diseases.
Rozin RR, Meyer S, Rozin R. Electromyography of Anterior Abdominal MusclesDuring Diffuse and Localized Peritonitis. Arch Surg. 1973;106(2):160-163. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350140026009