Reliability of relaxation properties of knee-extensor muscles induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation

Vernillo, Gianluca, Barbi, Chiara, Temesi, John, Giurato, Gaia, Laginestra, Fabio Giuseppe, Martignon, Camilla, Schena, Federico and Venturelli, Massimo (2022) Reliability of relaxation properties of knee-extensor muscles induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Neuroscience Letters. ISSN 0304-3940

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-induced relaxation rate reflects intrinsic muscle contractile properties by interrupting the drive from the central nervous system during voluntary muscle contractions. To determine the appropriateness of knee-extensor muscle relaxation measurements induced by TMS, this study aimed to establish both the within- and between-session reliability before and after a fatiguing exercise bout. Eighteen participants (9 females, 9 males, age 25 ± 2 years, height 171 ± 9 cm, body mass 68.5 ± 13.5 kg) volunteered to participate in two identical sessions approximately 30 days apart. Maximal and submaximal neuromuscular evaluations were performed with TMS six times before (PRE) and at the end (POST) of a 2-min sustained maximal voluntary isometric contraction. Within- and between-session reliability of PRE values were assessed with intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC2,1, relative reliability), repeatability coefficient (absolute reliability), and coefficient of variation (variability). Test-retest reliability of post-exercise muscle relaxation rates was assessed with Bland-Altman plots. For both the absolute and normalized peak relaxation rates and time to peak relaxation, data demonstrated low variability (e.g. coefficient of variation ≤ 7.8) and high reliability (e.g. ICC2,1 ≥ 0.963). Bland-Altman plots showed low systematic errors. These findings establish the reliability of TMS-induced muscle relaxation rates in unfatigued and fatigued knee-extensor muscles, showing that TMS is a useful technique that researchers can use when investigating changes in muscle relaxation rates both in unfatigued and fatigued knee-extensor muscles.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was partially supported by the Italian Ministry of Research and University (MIUR; Rome, Italy) 5-year special funding (
Uncontrolled Keywords: fatigue, knee extensors, reliability, transcranial magnetic stimulation, muscle relaxation rate
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 20 May 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 21 May 2023 08:00

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