The number of motor units in a muscle, the abductor pollicis longus (APL), supplied by the radial nerve was estimated. In 40 APL muscles of control subjects, the mean number of motor units was found to be 421 +/- 99 (SD). Ten patients underwent conventional EMG examination to confirm the clinical suspicion of denervation in radial nerve territory. All presented a significant reduction in the number of motor units in the APL muscle. These results show that this method is useful in the evaluation of muscles supplied by the radial nerve.
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