Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Timothy Doherty


The purpose of this study was to establish a set of representative data from healthy subjects and determine the intra-rater reliability of decomposition-enhanced spike triggered averaging (DE-STA) motor unit number estimation (MUNE) and quantitative motor unit potential (MUP) analysis from D-QEMG for the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) muscle. Twenty subjects aged 21-51 were studied (9 females, 11 males). Trials A and B assessed test-retest reliability for FCR when the wrist was flexed only. The effects of finger flexion during wrist flexion were assessed in trial C. Results found high reliability for maximum CMAP (ICC = 0.92), moderate reliability for mean S-MUP (ICC = 0.63) and low reliability for MUNE (ICC = 0.39) between trials A and B. The SEMs and mean percent differences for maximum CMAP, mean S-MUP and MUNE were 0.84 mV and 4%, 11 μV and 15%, and 87 MUs and 16%, respectively. There were no detected differences between trials A and B for any parameters. There was a significant difference in MUNE (p = 0.035) between trials A and C. Results are consistent with previous literature regarding the calculated MUNE, variability, and reliability. The importance of neutral finger position during wrist flexion contraction has been reiterated given the significant difference in MUNE between trials A and C. Overall, D-QEMG in FCR was shown to be reproducible in healthy subjects.