OBJECTIVE: The motor unit size index (MUSIX) is incorporated into the motor unit number index (MUNIX). Our objective was to assess the intra-/inter-rater reliability of MUSIX in healthy volunteers across single subject "round robin" and multi-centre settings.
METHODS: Data were obtained from (i) a round-robin assessment in which 12 raters (6 with prior experience and 6 without) assessed six muscles (abductor pollicis brevis, abductor digiti minimi, biceps brachii, tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum brevis and abductor hallucis) and (ii) a multi-centre study with 6 centres studying the same muscles in 66 healthy volunteers. Intra/inter-rater data were provided by 5 centres, 1 centre provided only intra-rater data. Intra/inter-rater variability was assessed using the coefficient of variation (COV), Bland-Altman plots, bias and 95% limits of agreement.
RESULTS: In the round-robin assessment intra-rater COVs for MUSIX ranged from 7.8% to 28.4%. Inter-rater variability was between 7.8% and 16.2%. Prior experience did not impact on MUSIX values. In the multi-centre study MUSIX was more consistent than the MUNIX. Abductor hallucis was the least reliable muscle.
CONCLUSIONS: The MUSIX is a reliable neurophysiological biomarker of reinnervation.
SIGNIFICANCE: MUSIX could provide insights into the pathophysiology of a range of neuromuscular disorders, providing a quantitative biomarker of reinnervation.