The mechanomyography of persons after stroke during isometric voluntary contractions

Xiaoling Hu, K. Y. Tong, L. Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This study was to investigate the properties of mechanomyography (MMG), or muscle sound, of the paretic muscle in the affected side of hemiplegic subjects after stroke during isometric voluntary contractions, in comparison with those from the muscle in the unaffected side of the hemiplegic subjects and from the healthy muscle of unimpaired subjects. MMG and electromyography (EMG) signals were recorded simultaneously from the biceps brachii muscles of the dominant arm of unimpaired subjects (n = 5) and the unaffected and affected arms of subjects after stroke (n = 8), when performing a fatiguing maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) associated with the decrease in elbow flexion torque, and then submaximal elbow flexions at 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% MVCs. The root mean squared (RMS) values, the mean power frequencies (MPF, in the power density spectrum, PDS) of the EMG and MMG, and the high frequency rate (HF-rate, the ratio of the power above 15 Hz in the MMG PDS) were used for the analysis. The MMG RMS decreased more slowly during the MVC in the affected muscle compared to the healthy and unaffected muscles. A transient increase could be observed in the MMG MPFs from the unaffected and healthy muscles during the MVC, associated with the decrease in their simultaneous EMG MPFs due to the muscular fatigue. No significant variation could be seen in the EMG and MMG MPFs in the affected muscles during the MVC. The values in the MPF and HF-rate of MMG from the affected muscles were significantly lower than those from the healthy and unaffected muscles (P < 0.05) at the high contraction level (80% MVC). Both the MMG and EMG RMS values in the healthy and unaffected groups were found to be significantly higher than the affected group (P < 0.05) at 60% and 80% MVCs. These observations were related to an atrophy of the fast-twitch fibers and a reduction of the neural input in the affected muscles of the hemiplegic subjects. The results in this study suggested MMG could be used as a complementary to EMG for the analysis on muscular characteristics in subjects after stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-483
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007


  • Electromyography
  • Mechanomyography
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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