Introduction: Split hand is considered to be a specific feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: We evaluated the pattern difference of intrinsic hand muscles of upper limb-onset ALS (UL-ALS), upper limb-onset progressive muscular atrophy (UL-PMA), brachial amyotrophic diplegia (BAD), and Hirayama disease (HD) by measuring objective electrophysiological markers. Results: The abductor digiti minimi (ADM)/abductor pollicis brevis (APB) compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude ratio was significantly higher in UL-ALS than other variants, but a considerable proportion of UL-ALS cases had an amplitude ratio in the range of other variants. Absent APB CMAP and abnormally high ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio (≥4) occurred only with UL-ALS. Conversely, an absent ADM CMAP was identified only in UL-PMA and BAD. Conclusions: The absolute ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio was not specific for ALS; however, several findings from simple electrophysiological measurements may help predict prognosis in patients with motor neuron diseases and may be early diagnostic markers for ALS.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Brachial amyotrophic diplegia, Hirayama disease
- Progressive muscular atrophy
- Split hand