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Is the power spectrum of electromyography signal a feasible tool to estimate muscle fiber composition in patients with COPD?

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journal contribution
posted on 15.03.2022, 15:56 by Antonino Casabona, Maria Stella Valle, Luca Laudani, Claudia Crimi, Cristina Russo, Lucia Malaguarnera, Nunzio Crimi, Matteo Cioni
A greater proportion of glycolytic muscle fibers is a manifestation of skeletal muscle dysfunction in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Here, we propose to use the spectral analysis of the electromyographic signal as a non-invasive approach to investigate the fiber muscle composition in COPD. We recorded the electromyographic activity of Rectus Femoris (RF), Vastus Lateralis (VL), Vastus Medialis (VM) and Biceps Femoris (BF) muscles, in ten patients and ten healthy individuals, during non-fatiguing, flexion–extension leg movements. The mean (MNF) and median frequencies (MDF) were calculated, and the most common profiles of electromyographic power spectrum were characterized by using the principal component analysis. Frequency parameters showed higher values in patients with COPD than in the control group for the RF (+25% for MNF; +21% for MNF), VL (+16% for MNF; 16% for MNF) and VM (+22% for MNF; 22% for MNF) muscles during the extension movements and for the BF (+26% for MNF; 34% for MNF) muscle during flexion movements. Spectrum profiles of the COPD patients shifted towards the higher frequencies, and the changes in frequency parameters were correlated with the level of disease severity. This shift of frequencies may indicate an increase in glycolytic muscle fibers in patients with COPD. These results, along with the non-fatigable nature of the motor task and the adoption of a non-invasive method, encourage to use electromyographic spectral analysis for estimating muscle fiber composition in patients with COPD


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Journal of Clinical Medicine




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Casabona, Antonino, Maria S. Valle, Luca Laudani, Claudia Crimi, Cristina Russo, Lucia Malaguarnera, Nunzio Crimi, and Matteo Cioni.(2021) "Is the Power Spectrum of Electromyography Signal a Feasible Tool to Estimate Muscle Fiber Composition in Patients with COPD?" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 17: 3815. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10173815

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Luca Laudan

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Public Health and Wellbeing

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© The Authors