Spatial fiber type distribution in normal human muscle Histochemical and tensiomyographical evaluation

J Biomech. 2005 Dec;38(12):2451-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2004.10.020.


The variability of fiber type distribution in nine limb muscles was examined with histochemical and tensiomyographical (TMG) methods in two groups of 15 men aged between 17 and 40 years. The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which the relative occurrence of different fiber types and subtypes varies within human limb muscles in function to depth and to predict fiber type proportions with a non-invasive TMG method. The distribution of different fiber types varied within the muscles, as a function of depth, with a predominance of type 2b fibers at the surface and type 1 fibers in deeper regions of the muscle. For all the analyzed muscles the contraction times measured at stimulus intensity 10% of supramaximal stimulus (10% MS) were significantly (p<0.05) shorter than the contraction times measured at 50% of supramaximal stimulus intensity (50% MS). The Pearson's correlation coefficient between percentage of type 1 muscle fibers measured at the surface of the muscle and contraction time at 10% MS, obtained by TMG was statistically significant (r=0.76,P<0.01). Also the Pearson's correlation coefficient between percentage of type 1 muscle fibers measured in the deep region of the muscle and contraction time at 50% MS obtained by TMG was also statistically significant (r=0.90,P<0.001). These findings suggest that the contraction time obtained by TMG may be useful for non-invasive examining of muscle fiber types spatial distribution in humans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anatomy, Cross-Sectional / methods
  • Cadaver
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / classification
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / cytology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / classification
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / cytology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Examination / methods