William Mccullagh (2008). BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE ANALYSIS OF MUSCLE FUNCTION AND ACTIVITY: (BIODYNAMIC ANALYSIS) MPhil Thesis, School of Chemistry & Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland.

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Author William Mccullagh
School, Centre or Institute School of Chemistry & Molecular Bioscience
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2008-11
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Dr Leigh Ward
Dr Bruce Cornish
Total pages 166
Total colour pages 10
Total black and white pages 156
Subjects 06 Biological Sciences
Abstract/Summary Abstract There is a need in medicine and research for noninvasive, painless, safe and simple bed-side techniques to measure physiological processes associated with muscle function and activity. Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) is a widely used, noninvasive, painless, safe and simple procedure for the measurement of body composition. However, although capable of producing accurate and reproducible data, it is known to be prone to movement artifacts. This poses the interesting question “Could impedance changes be used to monitor movement and, consequently, be related to muscle function or activity?” This project investigated the utility of impedance change as a monitoring technique for physiological processes that involve movement such as muscular contraction, the calf muscle pump, and swallowing. The impedance of leg muscle segments during locomotion, whilst riding a stationary exercise cycle, was measured at discrete frequencies and by bioimpedance spectroscopy to monitor muscle function or activity. Impedance traces were compared to information obtained by electromyography (EMG). Impedance, at a discrete frequency, was able to measure the cadence of cycling and its magnitude was related to the position of the pedal during the pedal cycle. When the cycling action was measured by bioimpedance spectroscopy, R0 and Zc showed a statistically significant difference, (p<0.05), between all angles of the pedal crank cycle while R∞ showed a statistically significant difference between angles in the lower hemisphere of the pedal crank cycle. The cyclical changes in impedance during cycling may be attributed to changes in shape and volume of the muscle during contraction as well as a volume change due to blood and lymph being pumped from the limb by the action of the calf muscle pump. Based on procedures used in the cycling studies, an impedance-based method for the measurement of calf muscle pump function during an exercise protocol, originally designed for use with air plethysmography, was developed. It was shown that impedance measured at 5 kHz provides a simple, non-invasive method for the measurement of the ejection fraction and ejection volume of the calf muscle pump as well as other haemodynamic variables. The impedance-based method was less technically challenging than accepted volumetric methods, such as air plethysmography and strain gauge plethysmography, and non-invasive c.f. ambulatory venous pressure, enabling it to be used repeatedly. Muscle function and activity is not confined to the legs so impedance changes in the arm and forearm during exercise were measured. Impedance measurements, at discrete frequencies and using bioimpedance spectroscopy, of the forearm during contractions of the hand were able to distinguish the difference between a ramp and a pulse contraction. When the impedance of the arm and forearm were plotted against the angle of the forearm to the horizontal during a bicep curl, there was an hysteresis effect. Impedance traces of a bicep curl were compared to an EMG trace of the same action. The larynx is a hollow muscular organ situated in the front of the neck above the trachea consisting of a framework of cartilages bound together by muscles and ligaments. The two major functions of the larynx are deglutition and phonation. Dysphagia, which is becoming more prevalent as the population ages, is defined as difficulty in swallowing thin liquids such as water or juices which splash into the trachea because the patient is unable to control the thin liquid bolus. Aspiration pneumonia and dehydration can be prevented by using thickened liquids which allow patients to achieve a safer swallowing response, but it is difficult to assess this response without interfering with the swallowing process. Impedance pharynography (IPG) is a technique using BIA to monitor an impedance waveform of the swallowing process that presents no radiation hazard to the patient, is non-invasive and does not require specialist trained personnel to operate it. Resistance changes across the neck were measured while subjects swallowed solutions of different viscosities. The resistance changes were distinctive and reproducible for each of the solutions of different viscosities which were swallowed. Measuring the function of the larynx by this method could be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia. In conclusion, the studies described in this thesis demonstrate the potential usefulness of the measurement of change in impedance as a measure of muscle activity. Impedance-based methods can measure volume changes associated with changes in cross-sectional area of the muscles involved in contraction as well as compartmental fluid changes caused by the force of the contraction on the surrounding tissues including the vasculature. In particular, measuring the ejection fraction and other haemodynamic variables of the calf muscle pump by impedance has the potential to become the method of choice in the future because it is easy to use, inexpensive, non-invasive, safe, and hygenic. Measuring resistance changes across the neck during swallowing yields distinctive waveforms with features corresponding to the physiological phases of the swallowing process as well as identifying distinctive swallowing patterns associated with the different viscosities of liquids swallowed. Function of the larynx and the associated diseases of the larynx will potentially be easier to diagnose and treat with a safe, non-invasive, inexpensive, portable bed-side method of assessment such as BIA.
Keyword impedance, calf muscle pump, dysphonia, dysphagia, bioelectrical impedance analysis, hysteresis
Additional Notes Colour pages: 59, 79, 82, 84, 98, 99, 109, 115, 130, 134.

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