European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp 409–415

Effects of electrical stimulation leg training during the acute phase of spinal cord injury: a pilot study

  • Regina M. Crameri
  • Adele R. Weston
  • Sue Rutkowski
  • James W. Middleton
  • Glen M. Davis
  • John R. Sutton
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

DOI: 10.1007/s004210000263

Cite this article as:
Crameri, R., Weston, A., Rutkowski, S. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2000) 83: 409. doi:10.1007/s004210000263

Abstract

Four individuals with a spinal cord injury underwent 16 weeks of isometric electrical stimulation training to both legs for 60 min, five times per week during the first 5 months after injury, while two SCI individuals remained untrained. A baseline biopsy sample of the vastus lateralis muscle was obtained within 1 month of injury, and another biopsy sample was taken after a further 16 weeks. The untrained, paralyzed skeletal muscle displayed a reduction in (1) type I fibers (from 50% to 9%), (2) myosin heavy chain (MHC) I (from 27% to 6%), and (3) fiber cross-sectional area of type I, type IIA and type IIX fibers (−62%, −68%, and −55%, respectively) when compared to the baseline sample of muscle taken within 1 month of injury. In contrast, the trained group showed smaller alterations in type I fibers (from 49% to 40%) and MHC I composition (from 39% to 25%), while fiber cross-sectional area was similar to baseline levels for type I, type IIA and type IIX fibers (−3%, −8%, and −4%, respectively). In conclusion, electrical stimulation training can largely prevent the adverse effects of a spinal cord injury upon paralyzed human skeletal muscle if applied soon after the injury.

Key words ParaplegiaMuscle morphologyFiber typeMyosin heavy chainSkeletal muscle

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina M. Crameri
    • 1
  • Adele R. Weston
    • 1
  • Sue Rutkowski
    • 2
  • James W. Middleton
    • 3
  • Glen M. Davis
    • 4
  • John R. Sutton
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, East St., Lidcombe, NSW 1825, Australia e-mail: r.crameri@cchs.usyd.edu.au Fax: +61-2-93519204AU
  2. 2.Spinal Cord Injuries Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, NSW 2065, AustraliaAU
  3. 3.Moorong Spinal Unit, Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney, PO Box 6, Ryde, NSW 2112, AustraliaAU
  4. 4.Rehabilitation Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, East St., Lidcombe, NSW 1825, AustraliaAU