Impact of stimulus duration on motor unit thresholds and alternation in compound muscle action potential scans

Boudewijn T.h.m. Sleutjes*, Janna Ruisch, Thijs E. Nassi, Jan R. Buitenweg, Leonard J. Van Schelven, Leonard H. Van Den Berg, Hessel Franssen, H. Stephan Goedee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the impact of stimulus duration on motor unit (MU) thresholds and alternation within compound muscle action potential (CMAP) scans. Methods: The stimulus duration (0.1, 0.2, 0.6, and 1.0 ms) in thenar CMAP scans and individual MUs of 14 healthy subjects was systematically varied. We quantified variability of individual MU's thresholds by relative spread (RS), MU thresholds by stimulus currents required to elicit target CMAPs of 5% (S5), 50% (S50) and 95% (S95) of the maximum CMAP, and relative range (RR) by 100*[S95-S5]/S50. We further assessed the strength-duration time constant (SDTC). Experimental observations were subsequently simulated to quantify alternation. Results: RS, unaffected by stimulus duration, was 1.65% averaged over all recordings. RR increased for longer stimulus duration (11.4% per ms, p < 0.001). SDTC shortened with higher target CMAPs (0.007 ms per 10% CMAP, p < 0.001). Experiments and simulations supported that this may underlie the increased RR. A short compared to long stimulus duration recruited relative more MUs at S50 (more alternation) than at the tails (less alternation). Conclusions: The stimulus duration significantly affects MU threshold distribution and alternation within CMAP scans. Significance: Stimulation settings can be further optimized and their standardization is preferred when using CMAP scans for monitoring neuromuscular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalClinical neurophysiology
Volume132
Issue number2
Early online date2 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D

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