Combined electromyography--31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy study of human muscle fatigue during static contraction

Muscle Nerve. 1996 Jun;19(6):715-21. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4598(199606)19:6<715::AID-MUS5>3.0.CO;2-D.


Metabolic changes measured by 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy and surface electromyograms were simultaneously recorded during isometric contraction of forearm flexor muscles sustained at 60% of maximal force until exhaustion. Throughout the fatigue trial, energy in the low-frequency (L) band continuously increased whereas energy in the high-frequency (H) band first increased and fell only prior to exhaustion. PCr content decreased linearly. Intracellular pH (pHi) transiently increased during the first 22 s of trial. The triggering of acidosis was associated with critical PCr values (35-70% of initial content) and decreased electromyogram (EMG) energy in the H band. Linear relationships were only found between energy in the L band, pHi, and PCr content. The interindividual variability of metabolic and EMG changes was high despite standardized conditions of contraction. Maximal PCr consumption was correlated with the maximal pHi decrease measured at the end of the trial. Overall, there was no correlation between H/L EMG ratio and changes in muscle metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle Fatigue*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism
  • Phosphorus
  • Physical Exertion
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis


  • Phosphates
  • Phosphocreatine
  • Phosphorus