Effect of gender, age, fatigue and contraction level on electromechanical delay

Ş Utku Yavuz, Aylin Şendemir-Ürkmez, Kemal S. Türker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine electromechanical delay (EMD) using supramaximal stimuli and to investigate its variation with gender, age, contraction level and fatigue. Methods: Fifteen male and 15 female healthy subjects (aged between 18 and 60) participated in our study. Electromyogram (EMG) recordings were taken from triceps surae muscle. While subjects contracted their muscles voluntarily at specified percentages of maximum voluntary contraction, 10 supramaximal stimuli were applied to the tibial nerve. The time lag between the onset of the EMG response (M-wave) and the onset of force generation was calculated as EMD. Results: EMD was found to be 8.5 ± 1.3 ms (at rest condition), which is much shorter than those reported in previous studies. Although EMD did not significantly vary with gender (P> 0.05), it decreased significantly with escalating muscle contraction level (P< 0.05) and increased significantly with advancing age and with fatigue (P< 0.05). Conclusions: EMD was found to be considerably shorter than those reported in previous studies, and hence we discuss the possible reasons underlying this difference. We suggest that supramaximal nerve stimulation and high resolution EMG and force recording may have generated this difference. Significance: Current findings suggest that EMD is very sensitive to the method used to determine it. We discuss the reasons for the short EMD value that we have found in the present study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1700-1706
Number of pages7
JournalClinical neurophysiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Contraction level
  • Electromechanical delay
  • Fatigue
  • Gender
  • M-wave
  • Supramaximal stimulation

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