Cerebral and muscle near-infrared spectroscopy during lower-limb muscle activity – volitional and neuromuscular electrical stimulation


Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) can lead to blood clotting in the deep veins of the legs, a disease known as deep vein thrombosis. An estimated 40 percent of people in the United States have venous insufficiency that may be ameliorated with neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-invasive optical imaging method for monitoring hemodynamics. NIRS, being an optical technique has no stimulation artefact, can be combined with NMES for theranostics application. In this study, we combined muscle NIRS (mNIRS) with electromyogram (EMG) of the calf muscles to detect blood volume changes (based on total hemoglobin concentration) in the muscle during volitional tiptoe movements at different frequencies. Also, blood volume changes were measured during NMES (using the geko™ device) at different device settings. In the mNIRS+NMES study, we also measured the cerebral hemodynamics using functional NIRS (fNIRS). The mNIRS was conducted using a frequency domain (FD) method (called FDNIRS) that used a multi-distance method to isolate muscle hemodynamics. FDNIRS-EMG study in ten healthy humans found a statistically significant (ptextless0.05) effect of the tiptoe frequencies on the EMG magnitude (and power) that increased with tiptoe frequency. Also, the muscle blood volume (standing/rest) decreased (ptextless0.01) with increasing tiptoe frequency and increasing NMES intensity that was statistically significantly (ptextless0.05) different between males and females. Moreover, increasing NMES intensity led to a statistically significant (ptextless0.01) increase in the cerebral blood volume - measured with fNIRS. Therefore, combined mNIRS and fNIRS with NMES can provide a theranostics application for brain+muscle in CVI.

2021 43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC)