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Respiratory muscle pacing with chronically implanted intramuscular Permaloc electrodes: A feasibility study

Author(s): James S. Walter, PhD | Robert D. Wurster, PhD | Qianlong Zhu, PhD | Franco Laghi, MD

Journal: Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
ISSN 0748-7711

Volume: 48;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 103;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: animal model | electrical stimulation | feasibility study | functional electrical stimulation | intramuscular electrodes | muscle pacing | respiration | respiratory distress | spinal cord injury | tidal volume

We tested the feasibility of stimulating upper-intercostal and abdominal muscles plus the diaphragm by using chronically implanted intramuscular electrodes. During two survival surgeries with six dogs, intramuscular electrodes were implanted bilaterally in the three respiratory muscles. Standard stimulation of the diaphragm was conducted. The dorsolateral and ventrolateral abdominal wall areas were stimulated with a 25 mA current. The second to fourth intercostal spaces were stimulated to elicit the largest tidal volume associated with the least coactivation of the serratus and latissimus muscles. Lone diaphragm and upper-intercostal muscle pacing produced inhaled tidal volumes (mean +/- standard error of the mean) of 293 +/- 36 mL and 59 +/- 17 mL, respectively. Lone abdominal muscle pacing produced an exhaled volume of 55 +/- 17 mL. Combined pacing of diaphragm and intercostal muscles increased the inhaled volume to 389 +/- 39 mL. The addition of abdominal pacing following the combined stimulation of diaphragm and intercostals increased the exhaled volume to 472 +/- 54 mL. During autopsy, dislodgement of the electrodes overlying the ribs was a concern and probably resulted from loose animal jackets. Chronic intramuscular Permaloc electrodes can be implanted in several respiratory muscles and increase tidal volumes more than diaphragm stimulation alone.
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