Histochemical changes in muscle of individuals with spinal cord injury following functional electrical stimulated exercise training

Spinal Cord. 1999 Apr;37(4):264-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.sc.3100785.


Study design: Longitudinal training.

Objectives: To determine the effects of functional electrical stimulated (FES) leg cycle ergometer training on muscle histochemical characteristics in individuals with motor-complete spinal cord injury (SCI).

Setting: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Methods: Six individuals with motor-complete SCI (age 31-50 years; 3-25 years post-injury) trained using FES leg cycle ergometry for 30 min, 3 days per week for 8 weeks. Biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle were obtained pre- and post-training and analyzed for fibre composition, fibre size and capillarization.

Results: The majority of muscle fibres were classified as type 2 pre- and post-training. Average fibre area increased 23% (P<0.05) and capillary number increased 39% (P<0.05) with training. As a result of these proportional increases, capillarization expressed relative to fibre area was unchanged with training.

Conclusions: FES leg cycle ergometer training results in proportional increases in fibre area and capillary number in individuals with SCI.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / pathology*