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Influence of Electrical-Stimulation of the Tibialis Anterior Muscle in Paraplegic Subjects. 2: Morphological and Histochemical Properties

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lynn Rochester, Dr Martin Barron, Dr Margaret Johnson


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In adult paraplegic subjects one tibialis anterior muscle received daily electrical stimulation for 4 weeks at twice the motor threshold to determine changes of morphological and histochemical profiles (this paper) and of contractile properties (preceding paper).(1) Bilateral biopsies, obtained 4 weeks before, and immediately after, electrical stimulation, were studied for fibre type proportions, fibre diameters, oxidative capacity, microvasculature and histopathology. Before stimulation the biopsies showed disuse with increased type 2 fibre proportions and decreased oxidative capacity (succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity). The effects of two stimulus patterns(1) were compared. Following stimulation SDH activity increased significantly in all stimulated muscles. Inconsistent changes occurred in fibre type proportions, fibre diameters, capillary density and capillary/fibre ratios. Both stimulus patterns evoked similar results. In five/seven subjects subsarcolemmal vacuolation was observed. Electrical stimulation for 4 weeks at only twice motor threshold improves oxidative capacity, but different stimulus parameters are probably needed for significant fibre type conversion.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rochester L, Barron MJ, Chandler CS, Sutton RA, Miller S, Johnson MA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Paraplegia

Year: 1995

Volume: 33

Issue: 9

Pages: 514-522

Print publication date: 01/09/1995

ISSN (print): 0031-1758

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group