M-wave, H-and V-reflex recruitment curves during maximal voluntary contraction

Sebastien Racinais, Nicola A. Maffiuletti, Olivier Girard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate whether the H reflex-M wave recruitment curves obtained during maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) differ from rest and to determine the stimulation intensities allowing to record stable reflex responses. Methods: Full recruitment curves (precision, 2 mA) were obtained from the soleus muscle in 14 volunteers at rest and during plantar flexion MVCs. Results: Maximal M-wave reached significantly larger amplitude during MVC (+2.2 [0.4; 3.9] mV) for a higher stimulation intensity (+7.9 [-0.4; 16] mA). Similarly, maximal H-reflex reached significantly larger amplitude during MVC than at rest (+3.2 [0.9; 5.5] mV) for a much higher stimulation intensity (+17.7 [9.7; 25.7] mA). V-wave amplitude plateaued only when M-wave during MVC plateaued, that is, at higher intensity than M-wave at rest. V-wave was correlated to the maximal H-reflex during MVC (r = 0.79, P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Electrically evoked potentials showed a specific recruitment curve during MVC with higher maximal values attained for higher stimulation intensities. Thus, recording reflex responses during MVC based on intensities determined at rest or as a percentage of M-wave may yield inaccurate Results. V-wave presented a plateau for stimulation intensity of 1.5 times the onset of the resting M-wave plateau. Evoked potentials obtained during actual contractions should be normalized to M-waves obtained during contractions of the same force level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


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