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Sleep Med. 2011 Mar;12(3):284-8. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2010.04.021. Epub 2011 Feb 12.

Usefulness of the SINBAR electromyographic montage to detect the motor and vocal manifestations occurring in REM sleep behavior disorder.

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Neurology Service, Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, IDIBAPS, CIBERNED, Barcelona, Spain.



In a previous study we showed that simultaneous electromyographic (EMG) recording of the mentalis, flexor digitorum superficialis and extensor digitorum brevis (SINBAR EMG montage) detected the highest rates of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phasic EMG activity in subjects with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). As a next step, in the present study we evaluated the usefulness of the SINBAR EMG montage to detect the movements and vocalizations occurring in RBD.


Polysomnographic studies with synchronized audiovisual monitoring of 11 patients with idiopathic RBD were analyzed. Phasic EMG activity in REM sleep was scored and quantified in 3-s mini-epochs while the video was reviewed to detect motor events and vocalizations.


A total of 64.8% (11,562 out of 17,848) of all mini-epochs contained phasic EMG activity, whereas 28.8% (5135 out of 17,848) contained movements or vocalizations. Using the SINBAR EMG montage, 94.4% of the mini-epochs containing behavioral events were linked to phasic EMG activity. The sensitivity of the SINBAR EMG montage was 94.4%, specificity was 47.2%, negative predictive value was 95.4% and positive predictive value was 41.9%. Isolated EMG recording of the mentalis did not show phasic EMG activity in 35.5% of the behavioral events seen in the video.


The SINBAR EMG montage is a useful approach for the diagnosis of RBD showing that simultaneous EMG recording of the mentalis, flexor digitorum superficialis and extensor digitorum brevis muscles detected the majority (94.4%) of the motor and vocal manifestations occurring in RBD. For clinical purposes, this means that it is efficient to screen the video when increased phasic EMG activity is seen on the polysomnography.

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