Restoration of muscle volume and shape induced by electrical stimulation of denervated degenerated muscles: qualitative and quantitative measurement of changes in rectus femoris using computer tomography and image segmentation.
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CitationArtif Organs 2008, 32(8):609-13
AbstractThis study demonstrates in a novel way how volume and shape are restored to denervated degenerated muscles due to a special pattern of electrical stimulation. To this purpose, Spiral Computer Tomography (CT) and special image processing tools were used to develop a method to isolate the rectus femoris from other muscle bellies in the thigh and monitor growth and morphology changes very accurately. During 4 years of electrical stimulation, three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of the rectus femoris muscles from patients with long-term flaccid paraplegia were made at different points in time. The growth of the muscle and its changes through the time period are seen in the 3D representation and are measured quantitatively. Furthermore, changes in shape are compared with respect to healthy muscles in order to estimate the degree of restoration. The results clearly show a slow but continuing muscle growth induced by electrical stimulation; the increase of volume is accompanied by the return of a quasi-normal muscle shape. This technique allows a unique way of monitoring which provides qualitative and quantitative information on the denervated degenerated muscle behavior otherwise hidden.
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