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Clinical Challenges
April 2005

The Promise of LEMG

Author Affiliations




Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131(4):359. doi:10.1001/archotol.131.4.359

Altman discusses the pros and cons of LEMG in patients with an asymmetrical larynx. His analysis could not be any clearer than when he states that “controversy remains regarding its limitations.” In fact, controversy surrounds virtually everything involved in the use of LEMG in our practices today.

Gregory N. Postma, MD

Gregory N. Postma, MD

At this time, there is no standard agreement on the indications, performance, or the interpretation of these studies. However, I believe that LEMG in many patients can provide us with diagnostic and often prognostic information that no other test can provide and is therefore quite valuable in patient care. In our institution’s large review,1 it altered our management in 40% of individuals who underwent LEMG. As Altman notes, however, we have the benefit of practicing in a large referral center with 2 neurologists on staff who are experienced in electrodiagnostics.

Altman expresses well the pros and the cons of LEMG, and it is my belief that over time, and with further research, this modality will become increasingly accepted as has laryngeal videostroboscopy over the past few years. This will require well-designed, multi-institutional studies to appropriately determine the full role of LEMG in the treatment of patients with voice and swallowing disorders.

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Article Information

Correspondence: Dr Postma, Department of Otolaryngology, Center for Voice Disorders, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Wake Forest, NC 27157 (gpostma@wfubmc.edu).

Koufman  JAPostma  GNWhang  CS  et al.  Diagnostic laryngeal electromyography: the Wake Forest experience 1995-1999.  Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2001;124603- 606PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref