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J Vet Intern Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;17(4):545-50.

Evaluation of jitter by stimulated single-fiber electromyography in normal dogs.

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Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, USA.


Single-fiber electromyography (SFEMG), a technique used to investigate neuromuscular transmission, has been described previously in the pelvic limb of dogs. Because preferential involvement of isolated muscle groups can occur in disorders of neuromuscular transmission, SFEMG was done in the peroneus longus (PL), extensor carpi radialis (ECR), and orbicularis oculi (OO) muscles of 10 adult, clinically normal dogs. Jitter was calculated as the mean absolute value of the consecutive differences in latency of 50 single muscle fiber action potentials after stimulation of intramuscular nerve bundles at the level of the motor point in at least 20 muscle fibers per muscle. Bilateral recordings were performed in 3 dogs. Mean jitter values were determined for each muscle, and differences among muscle groups and among dogs were compared. The upper limits of mean consecutive difference (mean plus 3 standard deviations) for the PL, ECR, and OO muscles were 21.94, 22.53, and 23.39 micros, respectively, and the upper limit of mean consecutive difference for individual muscle fibers in the respective fiber pools was 28.62, 36.39, and 35.68 micros. Jitter values for the ECR and OO were significantly higher than the jitter value for the PL muscle (P < .05). Significant differences among muscles or dogs or between sides were not observed for the ECR. Significant differences among dogs were observed for OO jitter values and were attributed to extremely low jitter values in 1 dog. Significant differences were demonstrated between sides for the PL and were attributed to small sample size. Results of this study provide normative data that can be used in the application of the stimulated SFEMG technique to dogs with suspected disorders of neuromuscular transmission.

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