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Clinical and research applications of neuromuscular ultrasound in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Authors Barnes SL, Simon NG

Received 12 May 2019

Accepted for publication 14 June 2019

Published 16 July 2019 Volume 2019:9 Pages 89—102

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DNND.S215318

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Melinda Thomas

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller


Stephanie L Barnes1,2, Neil G Simon3

1Department of Neurology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, NSW, Australia; 2St Vincent’s Clinical School, School of Medicine, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 3St Vincent’s Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Abstract: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by dysfunction at multiple levels of the neuraxis. It remains a clinical diagnosis without a definitive diagnostic investigation. Electrodiagnostic testing provides supportive information and, along with imaging and biochemical markers, can help exclude mimicking conditions. Neuromuscular ultrasound has a valuable role in the diagnosis and monitoring of ALS and provides complementary information to clinical assessment and electrodiagnostic testing as well as insights into the underlying pathophysiology of this disease. This review highlights the evidence for ultrasound in the evaluation of bulbar, limb and respiratory musculature and peripheral nerves in ALS. Further research in this evolving area is required.

Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ultrasound, clinical neurophysiology, biomarker, clinical trials

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