A new method using F-waves to measure muscle fiber conduction velocity (MFCV)

H. Metani, A. Tsubahara, T. Hiraoka, Yoichiro Aoyagi, Y. Tanaka

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Objective: First, to propose a new technique for measuring muscle fiber conduction velocity (MFCV). Second, to ascertain the validation of the new method that uses F-waves (F-MFCV) in healthy volunteers. Third, to examine the relationship between F-MFCV and motor nerve conduction velocity (MCV) in the same subjects. Subjects and methods: F-waves reflecting single motor units were recorded with a multi-channel surface electrode array and weak electrical stimulation to the median or ulnar nerves in 21 healthy volunteers. F-MFCVs of the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) were calculated from the F-wave peak latency in each channel. MFCV during minimal voluntary contraction (V-MFVC) was measured in the same muscles. Results: There was no significant difference between F-MFCV and V-MFCV in the muscles tested. The mean F-MFCV value was similar to recently reported MFCV values generated by minimal voluntary contraction. No significant differences were found between the APB and ADM F-MFCVs, whereas the MCV of the ulnar nerve was faster than that of the median nerve. Conclusion: The MFCV in a single motor unit could be measured with a multi-channel surface electrode array by recording F-waves induced by weak stimulation. Since V-MFCV generated by minimal voluntary contraction is explained by the size principle, V-MFCV reflects small and slow conducting motor unit. There was no significant difference between F-MFCV and V-MFCV. It seemed that F-MFCV also reflected small motor unit. The reason for the lack of difference in the F-MFCVs of the ADM and APB is considered to be a relatively slow F-MFCV. Moreover, MCV reflected the speed of the fastest nerve fiber, whereas F-MFCV did not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalElectromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-06-2005


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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