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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 193493, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/193493
Research Article

A Novel Noninvasive Method for Measuring Fatigability of the Quadriceps Muscle in Noncooperating Healthy Subjects

1Department of Intensive Care, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2100 Copenhagen OE, Denmark
2Section of Integrated Physiology, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
3Neurointensive Care Unit, Department of Neuroanaesthesiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2100 Copenhagen OE, Denmark
4Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2100 Copenhagen OE, Denmark

Received 16 April 2015; Revised 19 June 2015; Accepted 24 June 2015

Academic Editor: Daniel Clark Files

Copyright © 2015 Jesper B. Poulsen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Critical illness is associated with muscle weakness leading to long-term functional limitations. Objectives. To assess the reliability of a novel method for evaluating fatigability of the quadriceps muscle in noncooperating healthy subjects. Methods. On two occasions, separated by seven days, nonvoluntary isometric contractions (twitch and tetanic) of the quadriceps femoris muscle evoked by transcutaneous electrical muscle stimulation were recorded in twelve healthy adults. For tetanic contractions, the Fatigue Index (ratio of peak torque values) and the slope of the regression line of peak torque values were primary outcome measures. For twitch contractions, maximum peak torque and rise time were calculated. Relative (intraclass correlation, ICC3.1) and absolute (standard error of measurement, SEM) reliability were assessed and minimum detectable change was calculated using a 95% confidence interval (MDC95%). Results. The Fatigue Index (ICC3.1, 0.84; MDC95%, 0.12) and the slope of the regression line (ICC3.1, 0.99; MDC95%, 0.03) showed substantial relative and absolute reliability during the first 15 and 30 contractions, respectively. Conclusion. This method for assessing fatigability of the quadriceps muscle produces reliable results in healthy subjects and may provide valuable data on quantitative changes in muscle working capacity and treatment effects in patients who are incapable of producing voluntary muscle contractions.