Using surface electromyography to detect changes in innervation zones pattern after human cervical spinal cord injury

Babak Afsharipour, Milap S. Sandhu, Ghulam Rasool, Nina L. Suresh, William Z. Rymer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human spinal cord injuries (SCI) disrupt the pathways between brain and spinal cord, resulting in substantial impairment and loss of function. Currently, we do not have the ability to precisely quantify the 'functional' level of motor injury. The aim of this study is to determine if high-density surface electromyography imaging (SEI) can be used to characterize the location and extent of the spinal lesion. SEI is a safe and non-invasive technique, which uses several electrodes to provide a map of muscle activity. We applied the SEI technique to characterize muscle activity in individuals with chronic incomplete cervical SCI. Surface electromyogram signals (sEMG) from Biceps Brachii (BB) were recorded at submaximal levels (20%, 40%, and 60%) of maximum voluntary contractions (MVC) during isometric elbow flexion, shoulder flexion, and elbow abduction in two individuals with SCI. Through time-domain analysis of the collected data, we detected signs of de-innervation and re-innervations by analyzing the innervation zones (IZ) on the left and right BB muscles. We found that the distribution of IZs was different between the two sides. In addition, analysis of sEMG data collected at rest (no voluntary contraction) showed evidence of superficial active motor units that were active during rest (in the absence of spasms). These findings highlight the potential of SEI technique as a potential clinical tool to quantitatively describe the extent of the damage to motor spinal circuitry, and provide added precision to the clinical examinations and radiological findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages3757-3760
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781457702204
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 13 2016
Event38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2016 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Aug 16 2016Aug 20 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
Volume2016-October
ISSN (Print)1557-170X

Other

Other38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2016
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando
Period8/16/168/20/16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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    Afsharipour, B., Sandhu, M. S., Rasool, G., Suresh, N. L., & Rymer, W. Z. (2016). Using surface electromyography to detect changes in innervation zones pattern after human cervical spinal cord injury. In 2016 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2016 (pp. 3757-3760). [7591545] (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS; Vol. 2016-October). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2016.7591545