Effect of gender, age, fatigue and contraction level on electromechanical delay

Yavuz Ş. U., Şendemir-Ürkmez A., Türker K. S.

Clinical Neurophysiology, vol.121, no.10, pp.1700-1706, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 121 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.clinph.2009.10.039
  • Journal Name: Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1700-1706
  • Keywords: Electromechanical delay, M-wave, Gender, Fatigue, Contraction level, Supramaximal stimulation
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: No


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine electromechanical delay (EMD) using supramaximal stimuli and to investigate its variation with gender, age, contraction level and fatigue. Methods: Fifteen male and 15 female healthy subjects (aged between 18 and 60) participated in our study. Electromyogram (EMG) recordings were taken from triceps surae muscle. While subjects contracted their muscles voluntarily at specified percentages of maximum voluntary contraction, 10 supramaximal stimuli were applied to the tibial nerve. The time lag between the onset of the EMG response (M-wave) and the onset of force generation was calculated as EMD. Results: EMD was found to be 8.5 ± 1.3 ms (at rest condition), which is much shorter than those reported in previous studies. Although EMD did not significantly vary with gender (P> 0.05), it decreased significantly with escalating muscle contraction level (P< 0.05) and increased significantly with advancing age and with fatigue (P< 0.05). Conclusions: EMD was found to be considerably shorter than those reported in previous studies, and hence we discuss the possible reasons underlying this difference. We suggest that supramaximal nerve stimulation and high resolution EMG and force recording may have generated this difference. Significance: Current findings suggest that EMD is very sensitive to the method used to determine it. We discuss the reasons for the short EMD value that we have found in the present study. © 2010 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology.