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Reproducibility of measurements of selected neuro muscular performance variables in man

Reproducibility of measurements of selected neuro muscular performance variables in man

Electromyography & Clinical Neurophysiology 20(6): 487-502

In measurements of neuromuscular performance several different parameters are often measured simultaneously. Because good reproducibility of measurements is one of the main criterion for acceptance of the parameters in the test battery, the study was designed to examine the reproducibility of the following parameters in human subjects: patellar reflex time, reaction time, force production and relaxation in isometric knee extension, EMG [electromyogram] integral and power spectral density function and muscle biopsy characteristics. Male students (29) were used as subjects. The reflex time (TRfT) was fractionated into reflex latency (LAT) and reflex motor time (RfMt) and the reaction time (TRT) into premotor (PMT) and motor time (MT). Reproducibility was determined for the variables between the average of the 1st and 3rd, and that of the 2nd and 4th contraction of the same test. For the biopsy variables the calculations were performed using 2 different samples taken from the same insertion site of the vastus lateralis muscle. A range from r = 0.53 to r = 0.98 existed among all the parameters tested. EMG integral, EMG power spectrum density function and maximal isometric force were the most reproducible variables (r = 0.95 - 0.98 and C.V. [coefficient of variation] = 3.2 - 6.9%). In reaction time measurements the average of the 2 measurements was not satisfactory for reliable TRT and PMT values. Muscle biopsy measurements showed the following indices of reproducibility. Fiber composition (r = 0.66), corrected fiber composition (r = 0.83) and fast twitch/slow twitch fiber area ratio (r = 0.73). In force-time, reflex time and reaction time measurements selection of the threshold levels for the onset of EMG, and force, influenced the values of reproducibility. Most of the examined variables apparently demonstrate acceptable reproducibility of measurement, but for some parameters careful consideration should be given to the number of repeated trials and determination of the threshold levels in computation.

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Accession: 006315210

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PMID: 7250028

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