Estimation of fiber diameters in the spinal dorsal columns from clinical data

W.A. Wesselink, J. Holsheimer, Bart Nuttin, H.B.K. Boom, Gary W. King, Jan M. Gybels, Paul de Sutter

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    Lack of human morphometric data regarding the largest nerve fibers in the dorsal columns (DCs) of the spinal cord has lead to the estimation of the diameters of these fibers from clinical data retrieved from patients with a new spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system. These patients indicated the perception threshold of stimulation induced paresthesia in various body segments, while the stimulation amplitude was increased. The fiber diameters were calculated with a computer model, developed to calculate the effects of SCS on spinal nerve fibers. This computer model consists of two parts: (1) a three-dimensional (3-D) volume conductor model of a spinal cord segment in which the potential distribution due to electrical stimulation is calculated and (2) an electrical equivalent cable model of myelinated nerve fiber, which uses the calculated potential field to determine the threshold stimulus needed for activation. It is shown that the largest fibers in the medial DCs are significantly smaller than the largest fibers in the lateral parts. This finding is in accordance with the fiber distribution in cat, derived from the corresponding propagation velocities. Moreover, it is shown that the mediolateral increase in fiber diameter is mainly confined to the lateral parts of the DCs. Implementation of this mediolateral fiber diameter distribution of the DCs in the computer model enables the prediction of the recruitment order of dermatomal paresthesias following increasing electrical stimulation amplitude
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)1355-1362
    Number of pages8
    JournalIEEE transactions on biomedical engineering
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    • METIS-111746
    • IR-14704

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