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History, mechanisms and clinical value of fibrillation analyses in muscle denervation and reinnervation by Single Fiber Electromyography and Dynamic Echomyography

Amber Pond, Andrea Marcante, Riccardo Zanato, Leonora Martino, Roberto Stramare, Vincenzo Vindigni, Sandra Zampieri, Christian Hofer, Helmut Kern, Stefano Masiero, Francesco Piccione
  • Amber Pond
    Anatomy Department, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Carbondale, IL, United States
  • Riccardo Zanato
    CIR-Myo, Radiology, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Italy
  • Leonora Martino
    CIR-Myo, Radiology, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Italy
  • Roberto Stramare
    CIR-Myo, Radiology, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Italy
  • Vincenzo Vindigni
    CIR-Myo, Plastic Surgery, Department of Neuroscience, University of Padova, Italy
  • Sandra Zampieri
    CIR-Myo, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Italy
  • Christian Hofer
    Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Electrical Stimulation and Physical Rehabilitation, Vienna, Austria
  • Helmut Kern
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wilhelminenspital, Vienna, Austria
  • Stefano Masiero
    CIR-Myo, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine Unit, Department of Neurosciences, University of Padova, Italy
  • Francesco Piccione
    Clinical Neurophysiology, San Camillo Hospital I.R.C.C.S., Venezia-Lido, Italy

Abstract

This work reviews history, current clinical relevance and future of fibrillation, a functional marker of skeletal muscle denervated fibers. Fibrillations, i.e., spontaneous contraction, in denervated muscle were first described during the nineteenth century. It is known that alterations in membrane potential are responsible for the phenomenon and that they are related to changes in electrophysiological factors, cellular metabolism, cell turnover and gene expression. They are known to inhibit muscle atrophy to some degree and are used to diagnose neural injury and reinnervation that are occurring in patients. Electromyography (EMG) is useful in determining progress, prognosis and efficacy of therapeutic interventions and their eventual change. For patients with peripheral nerve injury, and thus without the option of volitional contractions, electrical muscle stimulation may be helpful in preserving the contractility and extensibility of denervated muscle tissue and in retarding/counteracting muscle atrophy. It is obvious from the paucity of recent literature that research in this area has declined over the years. This is likely a consequence of the decrease in funding available for research and the fact that the fibrillations do not appear to cause serious health issues. Nonetheless, further exploration of them as diagnostic tools in long-term denervation is merited, in particular if Single Fiber EMG (SFEMG) is combined with Dynamic Echomyography (DyEM), an Ultra Sound muscle approach we recently designed and developed to explore denervated and reinnervating muscles.

Keywords

skeletal muscle, denervation, atrophy, fibrillation, clinical electromyography, Single Fiber EMG (SFEMG), dynamic echomyography (DyEM)

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Submitted: 2014-03-27 16:50:48
Published: 2014-03-27 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2014 Amber Pond, Andrea Marcante, Riccardo Zanato, Leonora Martino, Roberto Stramare, Vincenzo Vindigni, Sandra Zampieri, Christian Hofer, Helmut Kern, Stefano Masiero, Francesco Piccione

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