Mechanomyography and muscle function assessment: A review of current state and prospects

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Previous studies have explored to saturation the efficacy of the conventional signal (such as electromyogram) for muscle function assessment and found its clinical impact limited. Increasing demand for reliable muscle function assessment modalities continues to prompt further investigation into other complementary alternatives. Application of mechanomyographic signal to quantify muscle performance has been proposed due to its inherent mechanical nature and ability to assess muscle function non-invasively while preserving muscular neurophysiologic information. Mechanomyogram is gaining accelerated applications in evaluating the properties of muscle under voluntary and evoked muscle contraction with prospects in clinical practices. As a complementary modality and the mechanical counterpart to electromyogram; mechanomyogram has gained significant acceptance in analysis of isometric and dynamic muscle actions. Substantial studies have also documented the effectiveness of mechanomyographic signal to assess muscle performance but none involved comprehensive appraisal of the state of the art applications with highlights on the future prospect and potential integration into the clinical practices. Motivated by the dearth of such critical review, we assessed the literature to investigate its principle of acquisition, current applications, challenges and future directions. Based on our findings, the importance of rigorous scientific and clinical validation of the signal is highlighted. It is also evident that as a robust complement to electromyogram, mechanomyographic signal may possess unprecedented potentials and further investigation will be enlightening.

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