Repeatability of spinal reflexes of lower limb muscles evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation

Akira Saito, Yohei Masugi, Kento Nakagawa, Hiroki Obata, Kimitaka Nakazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Transcutaneous electrical stimulation is a relatively new technique to evoke spinal reflexes in lower limb muscles. The advantage of this technique is that the spinal reflex responses can be obtained from multiple lower limb muscles simultaneously. However, repeatability of spinal reflexes evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation between days has not been evaluated. We aimed to examine repeatability of recruitment properties of the spinal reflexes evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation. Recruitment curves of the spinal reflexes evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation of 8 lower limb muscles (i.e., foot, lower leg, and thigh muscles) of 20 males were measured on two consecutive days. To confirm that responses were caused by activation of the sensory fiber, a double-pulse stimulation with 50 ms inter-pulse interval was delivered. Peak-to-peak amplitude of the first response was calculated for each muscle when no response was observed in the second response owing to post-activation depression. For comparison with the spinal reflexes evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation, the recruitment curves of the H-reflex amplitude of the soleus of 9 males were measured. Threshold intensity and maximal slope of the recruitment curves were calculated, and inter-day repeatability of the properties was quantified using intraclass correlation coefficients. For the spinal reflexes evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation, the intraclass correlation coefficient values of threshold intensity and maximal slope for each muscle ranged from 0.487 to 0.874 and from 0.471 to 0.964, respectively. Regarding the soleus H-reflex, the intraclass correlation coefficients of threshold intensity and maximal slope were 0.936 and 0.751, respectively. The present data showed that repeatability of the recruitment properties of the spinal reflexes evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation in the lower limb was moderate to high. Measurement of the spinal reflexes evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation would be useful for longitudinal neurophysiological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0214818
JournalPloS one
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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