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Muscle volume as a predictor of maximum force generating ability in the plantar flexors post-stroke

Authors

  • Brian A. Knarr PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
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  • John W. Ramsay MS,

    1. Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
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  • Thomas S. Buchanan PhD,

    1. Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
    2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
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  • Jill S. Higginson PhD,

    1. Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
    2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
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  • Stuart A. Binder-Macleod PhD

    1. Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
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  • This work was funded by the NIH NS055383, NR010786 and GM103333.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Post-stroke muscle weakness is commonly thought to be the result of a combination of decreased voluntary activation and decreased maximum force generating ability (MFGA). We assessed the ability of muscle volumes obtained using MRI to estimate the MFGA of the plantar flexor muscle group in individuals post-stroke. Methods: MRI was used to measure muscle volume of the plantar flexor muscle group in 17 individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis. A modified burst superimposition test was used to measure force of volitional contraction and predict the MFGA of the plantar flexors. Results: While muscle volume obtained by means of MRI provided information on the overall size of muscle, it overestimated the force generating ability of the paretic plantar flexors. Conclusions: Results suggest that MRI-derived muscle volume underestimates the functional impairment in individuals post-stroke. Interestingly, the central activation ratio had a strong relationship with the maximum volitional force of contraction. Muscle Nerve 48: 971–976, 2013

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