To examine the peripheral nervous system (PNS) in spinal cord injured (SCI) patients using two novel methods: (1) MScanFit MUNE; a motor unit number estimation method detecting motor unit loss and (2) muscle velocity recovery cycles (MVRCs) measuring muscle membrane properties which has previously shown depolarization of the muscle membrane in denervated muscles.
Thirty chronic SCI patients (lesion above Th10) and twenty-five gender -and age matched healthy controls (HC) were examined. MScanFit was recorded from peroneal nerve to anterior tibial muscle (TA) and tibial nerve to abductor hallucis muscle after excluding localized mononeuropathies. MVRCs were recorded from TA.
Nerve conduction studies showed mononeuropathy in 8 patients (27%) (sciatic (2), -or peroneal nerve (6)). SCI patients had in average reduced motor unit number compared with HC and prolonged muscle refractory period and reduced supernormality.
A high prevalence of nerve lesion and a diffuse affection of the PNS following SCI are highly relevant findings that should be accounted for when planning neurorehabilitation for persons living with SCI.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.