Neuromuscular ultrasound is complementary to electrodiagnostic (EDx) testing and is useful in enhancing the diagnosis of mononeuropathies, peripheral nerve trauma, and demyelinating polyneuropathies. There is increasing interest in using ultrasound both to aid in the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to monitor its progression. In this article we review the relevant literature on ultrasound in ALS. Ultrasound is more sensitive than EDx in identifying fasciculations in patients with ALS. It can detect decreased muscle thickness, increased muscle echointensity and echovariance, and reduced peripheral nerve size in these patients. Ultrasound is also a helpful tool in assessment of diaphragm function. Although additional studies are required to define the exact role of ultrasound in the evaluation and monitoring of ALS, it can improve the diagnostic yield in patients when ALS is suspected, but insufficiently supported, by clinical and EDx examinations. Muscle Nerve 60: 114–123, 2019.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Physiology (medical)