Electrically induced mechanomyograms reflect inspiratory muscle strength in young or elderly subjects

Shogo Watanabe, Ippei Nojima, Yuuna Agarie, Tatsunori Watanabe, Shinichi Fukuhara, Takeshi Fujinaga, Hisao Oka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background Respiratory muscle strength has been used as a tool for evaluating respiratory rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, mouth pressure measurement evaluated by maximum expiratory mouth pressure (PEmax) or inspiratory mouth pressure (PImax) offers an indirect method for measuring respiratory muscle strength. We demonstrated the evaluation of diaphragm contractility using a mechanomyogram (MMG), which is the mechanical signal generated by the motion of the diaphragm induced by the electric stimulation of the phrenic nerve. Methods Study participants were 21 young and 20 elderly subjects with no symptoms of respiratory disease. The elderly subjects were divided into non-smoker or smoker groups. The smoker group was defined as subjects having a Brinkman Index of greater than 300. We measured basic spirometric parameters, mouth pressure (PEmax, PImax), and diaphragmatic MMG. Results Diaphragmatic MMG showed more clear contrast between young subjects and elderly non-smoker or smoker subjects than the conventional method for respiratory muscle contraction (PEmax, PImax). In addition, the diaphragmatic MMG strongly correlated with inspiratory muscle strength. Conclusions Diaphragmatic MMG may reflect diaphragmatic contractility more directly and sensitively than the conventional method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-444
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Investigation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Electric stimulation
  • Mechanomyogram
  • Respiratory muscle strength
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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