Assessing muscle compliance in stroke with the Myotonometer

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Background:This study explores changes of the intrinsic biomechanical property in the biceps brachii muscle after a hemispheric stroke using the Myotonometry technique.Methods:Nineteen subjects with chronic hemiplegia participated in the study. Myotonometer was used to measure tissue displacement when compression force was applied at 8 levels from 2.45 N to 19.6 N. Muscle displacement and compliance were determined and averaged over multiple trials.Findings:Statistical analysis indicated a significant decrease in muscle displacement and compliance in the spastic muscles compared with the contralateral side (muscle displacements: spastic: 4.51 (0.31) mm, contralateral: 5.74 (0.37) mm, p < 0.005; compliance: spastic: 0.17 (0.011) mm/N, contralateral: 0.22 (0.014) mm/N, p < 0.005). Correlation analysis, however, did not show any association between clinical assessments and myotonometric measurement (p > 0.1).Interpretation:Alterations of muscle compliance in the spastic side reflect changes in the contractile or intrinsic mechanical properties after a stroke. Findings of the study have demonstrated high sensitivity and effectiveness of the Myotonometer in assessing muscle compliance changes.HighlightsBiomechanical modifications in the spastic muscles were assessed using Myotonometry technique.A two-layer spring model was used to characterize changes in muscle displacement and compliance.Reduced muscle displacement and compliance were identified in the spastic muscle.Myotonometer provides an objective and sensitive measurement for evaluation of spasticity.

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