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Electromyography is a test that measures muscle response to nervous stimulation. A needle electrode is inserted through the skin into the muscle. Each muscle fiber that contracts will produce an action potential. The presence, size, and shape of the wave form of the action potential produced on the oscilloscope, provides information about the ability of the muscle to respond to nervous stimulation.

Review Date 7/27/2014

Updated by: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.