Cumulative vibratory indices and the H/M ratio of the soleus H-reflex: a quantitative study in control and spastic subjects

B.W. Ongerboer de Visser*, L.J. Bour, J.H.T.M. Koelman, J.D. Speelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
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Suppression of the soleus (Sol) H-reflex recruitment curve by Achilles tendon vibration and the ratio of maximum Sol H-reflex (Hmax) to maximum M-response (H/M ratio) have been studied by means of computer processing on the basis of peak-to-peak (P-P) and area values in 46 controls and in 16 spastic patients. The 'classical' vibratory index (VI) has been compared with a new cumulative VI (CVI), which is defined as the quotient of the surface under the recruitment curve obtained with vibration and the one obtained without vibration up to an equal intensity level. Statistical analyses were performed from threshold to 3 different intensity levels. Tendon vibration is found to be less effective at higher intensity levels. Mean values with S.D.s of CVIs at Hmax intensity are significantly lower than those of the 'classical' VIs. VIs increase with age while H/M ratios decline. Stepwise discriminant analyses showed that area CVI at Hmax intensity yielded the best distinction between controls and patients. Additional differential contribution is obtained by P-P H/M ratio. A canonic variable derived from these two variables correctly classified 44 out of 46 controls and 15 out of 16 patients. The methods presented improve the specificity of the quantitative neurophysiological measure of spasticity by means of Sol H-reflex recordings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-166
Number of pages5
JournalElectroencephalography and clinical neurophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Cumulative vibratory index H-reflex
  • H/M ratio
  • Spasticity


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