Automatic electrical stimulation of abdominal wall muscles increases tidal volume and cough peak flow in tetraplegia

Gollee, H. , Hunt, K.J., Allan, D.B., Fraser, M.H. and McLean, A.N. (2008) Automatic electrical stimulation of abdominal wall muscles increases tidal volume and cough peak flow in tetraplegia. Technology and Health Care, 16(4), pp. 273-281.



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<p>Paralysis of the respiratory muscles in people with tetraplegia affects their ability to breathe and contributes to respiratory complications. Surface functional electrical stimulation (FES) of abdominal wall muscles can be used to increase tidal volume (V_{T}) and improve cough peak flow (CPF) in tetraplegic subjects who are able to breathe spontaneously.</p> <p>This study aims to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a novel abdominal FES system which generates stimulation automatically, synchronised with the subjects' voluntary breathing activity. Four subjects with complete tetraplegia (C4-C6), breathing spontaneously, were recruited.</p> <p>The automatic stimulation system ensured that consistent stimulation was achieved. We compared spirometry during unassisted and FES-assisted quiet breathing and coughing, and measured the effect of stimulation on end-tidal CO_2 (EtCO_2) during quiet breathing.</p> <p>The system dependably recognised spontaneous respiratory effort, stimulating appropriately, and was well tolerated by patients. Significant increases in V_T during quiet breathing (range 0.05–0.23 L) and in CPF (range 0.04–0.49 L/s) were observed. Respiratory rate during quiet breathing decreased in all subjects when stimulated, whereas minute ventilation increased by 1.05–2.07 L/min. The changes in EtCO_2 were inconclusive.</p> <p>The automatic stimulation system augmented spontaneous breathing and coughing in tetraplegic patients and may provide a potential means of respiratory support for tetraplegic patients with reduced respiratory capacity.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Tetraplegia, pulmonary function, electrical stimulation, automatic control system
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gollee, Dr Henrik
Authors: Gollee, H., Hunt, K.J., Allan, D.B., Fraser, M.H., and McLean, A.N.
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RD Surgery
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Technology and Health Care
Publisher:IOS Press
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 IOS Press
First Published:First published in Technology and Health Care 16(4):273-281
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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