The characterization of deep tendon reflex of biceps brachii using high density surface EMG

Barbero, Marco and Boscherini, Duccio and Cescon, Corrado (2014) The characterization of deep tendon reflex of biceps brachii using high density surface EMG. In: Proceedings of the XX Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, 14-18 July 2014, Rome, Italy.

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AIM: The aim of the study was to characterize the deep tendon reflex of biceps brachii using high-density surface EMG. METHODS: Ten healthy volunteers were enrolled in the study, deep tendon reflex elicited by 8 consecutive standardized taps on the biceps brachii tendon using a reflex hammer. The force of the hammer as well as the time of impact was estimated using the signals of a linear uniaxial accelerometer embedded in the hammer handle. Surface EMG signals were detected in monopolar configuration using a 16x8 adhesive array of electrodes with 10mm inter-electrode distance (OT-Bioelettronica) positioned on the biceps brachii with the longer axis aligned to the muscle fibers. The instants of contact between the hammer and the tendon were identified from the acceleration signal using a simple threshold technique. The EMG signals evoked by the tendon reflex were aligned using the spike triggered averaging technique, with the acceleration signal as trigger. EMG parameters of interest were: muscle fiber conduction velocity (CV), reflex latency between the hammer hit and the sEMG signal onset, width of the evoked action potential, and the peak-to-peak amplitude of the potential. RESULTS: the mean CV was 4,06 m/s, the mean latency 14.7 m/s, the mean width was 25.2 m/s and mean peak-to-peak was amplitude 32 mV. CONCLUSION: Deep tendon reflex was characterized with a novel technique including electrophysiological variables acquired using high-density surface EMG.

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