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Manual of Nerve Conduction Studies

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    Manual of Nerve Conduction Studies. By r m buschbacher. (Pp 296, US$49.95). New York: Demos Medical, 1999. ISBN 1 888799 36 6.

    This book, by its own admission, is neither a comprehensive textbook nor teaching manual. The author's stated intention is for it “to be a bedside reference to which to quickly look up how to perform a technique ... or to look up reference values...“. It is just that—a reference book or paper data base of up to date normal values. In the case of commonly collected data, this is tabulated with respect to age, sex, height (F waves), and body mass index. In all cases, the number of subjects, machine settings, and skin temperature are documented.

    Ideally all EMG departments would collect and compile their own normal values but in reality this seldom happens. Given this failing, this is the book for the purest who, for example, wishes to check that his lateral antebrachial cutaneous sensory peak latency falls within two standard deviations of the mean. Or whether that slight apparent prolongation of median F waves is acceptable in the young, six foot something basket ball player. As such, it is a useful reference book to be found on the shelf of your EMG laboratory, if not actually always with you by the bedside.

    Its wider appeal for the novice or junior practising electrophysiologist is its descriptions and diagrams detailing electrode positioning and examples of typical, expected waveforms. It is for this reason that I might find myself with this book at the bedside, especially for some of those more obscure cutaneous sensory nerves.

    Buschbacher intends his book to be a practical manual with lists of acceptable differences, helpful hints, references, and pointers to additional reading and alternative techniques as well as space for the operator to make his or her own observations.

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