Help Understanding Results? Motor Axon Damage?

    • December 8, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Hi everyone!

      I recently received my latest [and hopefully last for a while!] EMG results via my Neurologist’s online charting system. Unfortunately, I don’t see him until January and there is something I don’t quite understand that I was hoping someone here could possibly help me with.

      The findings portion stated that there were “chronic neurogenic changes (reinnervation) on EMG testing of the right lower extremity…”. It stated “given this patient’s history, these findings are likely from previous actute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) affecting motor axons”.

      So, basically, it is saying I have damage to the motor axons from a previous bout with GBS? However, what does damage to the motor axons mean, exactly? I have never heard of this and I am curious if anyone else has any experience with this type of damage.

      I don’t know if anyone here has answers, but I hope someone can help!

      Happy Holidays!

    • jk
      December 9, 2017 at 11:39 am

      AIDP, by definition, is GBS. In this context the D stands for demyelinating. The answer to your question about axons is best found with an online search. Online you will be able to find photographs of nerve structures and read comprehensive descriptions.

      Simply put, the myelin is the covering for nerve bundles. The motor axons are a part of the nerve bundle. In the event there is only axonal damage this is a special subset of GBS and is described thusly: “Acute motor axonal neuropathy is the most frequent axonal variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and is often used synonymously with the term axonal GBS.”

      Demyelination, left unchecked and untreated may also result in axonal damage. This seems to be what is stated in the portion of the report you provided. Long term axonal damage my slowly recover, if at all. The long term loss of axons is linked to muscle atrophy.

      January is not so far off. At any rate, why not call the doctor’s office and ask your question? Who knows, they may actually reply to you.

      The proper interpretation of EMG and NCV studies is complex.