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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-26

Impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on the patient profile evaluated in the electromyography laboratory

Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Irem Ilgezdi Kaya
Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nsn.nsn_135_22

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Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate how the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic affected the profile of patients admitted to the electromyography (EMG) laboratory and the types of neurophysiologic evaluations. Methods: We included patients who were admitted to our EMG laboratory in the first 6 months of the pandemic period (Period 1) and the same 6 months of the previous year (Period 2). In view of changes in health-care strategies, lockdown, and disease awareness during the pandemic, each group was divided into 3-month periods (early and late). Demographic and clinical characteristics and electrophysiologic data were evaluated retrospectively and compared between the groups. Results: In Period 1, there were 1872 studies of 1829 patients, and in Period 2, there were 625 studies of 607 patients. Electrodiagnoses for cranial neuropathies were more frequent during the pandemic when compared with before the pandemic (P = 0.018). The subgroup analysis revealed that the ratio of segmental anterior horn involvement decreased in the early pandemic period (P = 0.003), myopathies decreased in the late pandemic period (P = 0.001), and cranial neuropathies increased in the late pandemic period (P = 0.005) compared with the same periods in the previous year. Conclusion: During the pandemic, there have been changes in clinical practice approaches in the electrophysiology laboratory. More cranial neuropathies seemed to be diagnosed in the EMG laboratory during the pandemic, including new-onset facial neuropathies, which was the most significant finding of our study.

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