OBJECTIVE: To assess the inter-rater reliability of MScanFit MUNE using a "Round Robin" research design.
METHODS: Twelve raters from different centres examined six healthy study participants over two days. Median, ulnar and common peroneal nerves were stimulated, and compound muscle action potential (CMAP)-scans were recorded from abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor digiti minimi (ADM) and anterior tibial (TA) muscles respectively. From this we calculated the Motor Unit Number Estimation (MUNE) and "A50", a motor unit size parameter. As statistical analysis we used the measures Limits of Agreement (LOA) and Coefficient of Variation (COV). Study participants scored their perception of pain from the examinations on a rating scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (unbearable pain).
RESULTS: Before this study, 41.6% of the raters had performed MScanFit less than five times. The mean MUNE-values were: 99.6 (APB), 131.4 (ADM) and 126.2 (TA), with LOA: 19.5 (APB), 29.8 (ADM) and 20.7 (TA), and COV: 13.4 (APB), 6.3 (ADM) and 5.6 (TA). MUNE-values correlated to CMAP max amplitudes (R2-values were: 0.463 (APB) (p<0.001), 0.421 (ADM) (p<0.001) and 0.645 (TA) (p<0.001)). The average perception of pain was 4.
DISCUSSION: MScanFit indicates a high level of inter-rater reliability, even with only limited rater experience and is overall reasonably well tolerated by patients. These results may indicate MScanFit as a reliable MUNE method with potential as a biomarker in drug trials.