© 2015 Li, Li, Liu and Zhou. The objective of this study was to apply a novel multidimensional motor unit number index (MD-MUNIX) technique to examine hand muscles in patients with incomplete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). The MD-MUNIX was estimated from the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) and different levels of surface interference pattern electromyogram (EMG) at multiple directions of voluntary isometric muscle contraction. The MD-MUNIX was applied in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI), thenar and hypothenar muscles of SCI (n = 12) and healthy control (n = 12) subjects. The results showed that the SCI subjects had significantly smaller CMAP and MD-MUNIX in all the three examined muscles, compared to those derived from the healthy control subjects. The multidimensional motor unit size index (MD-MUSIX) demonstrated significantly larger values for the FDI and hypothenar muscles in SCI subjects than those from healthy control subjects, whereas the MD-MUSIX enlargement was marginally significant for the thenar muscles. The findings from the MD-MUNIX analyses provide an evidence of motor unit loss in hand muscles of cervical SCI patients, contributing to hand function deterioration.
Li, L., Li, X., Liu, J., & Zhou, P. (2015). Alterations in multidimensional motor unit number index of hand muscles after incomplete cervical spinal cord injury. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00238