Abdominal functional electrical stimulation to improve respiratory function after spinal cord injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis

McCaughey, E., Borotkanics, R., Gollee, H. , Folz, R. and McLachlan, A. (2016) Abdominal functional electrical stimulation to improve respiratory function after spinal cord injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spinal Cord, 54(9), pp. 628-639. (doi:10.1038/sc.2016.31) (PMID:27067658)

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Abstract

Objectives: Abdominal functional electrical stimulation (abdominal FES) is the application of a train of electrical pulses to the abdominal muscles, causing them to contract. Abdominal FES has been used as a neuroprosthesis to acutely augment respiratory function and as a rehabilitation tool to achieve a chronic increase in respiratory function after abdominal FES training, primarily focusing on patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). This study aimed to review the evidence surrounding the use of abdominal FES to improve respiratory function in both an acute and chronic manner after SCI. Settings: A systematic search was performed on PubMed, with studies included if they applied abdominal FES to improve respiratory function in patients with SCI. Methods: Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria (10 acute and 4 chronic). Low participant numbers and heterogeneity across studies reduced the power of the meta-analysis. Despite this, abdominal FES was found to cause a significant acute improvement in cough peak flow, whereas forced exhaled volume in 1 s approached significance. A significant chronic increase in unassisted vital capacity, forced vital capacity and peak expiratory flow was found after abdominal FES training compared with baseline. Conclusions: This systematic review suggests that abdominal FES is an effective technique for improving respiratory function in both an acute and chronic manner after SCI. However, further randomised controlled trials, with larger participant numbers and standardised protocols, are needed to fully establish the clinical efficacy of this technique.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gollee, Dr Henrik
Authors: McCaughey, E., Borotkanics, R., Gollee, H., Folz, R., and McLachlan, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Spinal Cord
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1362-4393
ISSN (Online):1476-5624
Published Online:12 April 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 International Spinal Cord Society
First Published:First published in Spinal Cord 54(9): 628-639
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
5006112008-12 Doctoral Training GrantMary GoodmanEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P50418X/1VICE PRINCIPAL RESEARCH & ENTERPRISE
5006132008-12 Doctoral Training GrantMary GoodmanEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P50418X/1VICE PRINCIPAL RESEARCH & ENTERPRISE