Deakin University

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Single-session measures of quadriceps neuromuscular function are reliable in healthy females and unaffected by age

journal contribution
posted on 2024-01-18, 04:48 authored by Steven J O’Bryan, Danielle HiamDanielle Hiam, Severine LamonSeverine Lamon
Abstract Purpose This study aimed to determine the inter-session reliability of quadriceps neuromuscular function measurements in healthy young and older females. Methods Twenty-six females aged 19–74 years completed two identical experimental sessions on different days. Quadriceps neuromuscular function measurements included isometric maximal voluntary force, high- and low-frequency twitch force, voluntary and evoked (H-reflex, M-wave) electromyography (EMG), and estimated maximal torque, velocity and power derived from torque–velocity relationships. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs), coefficients of variation (CoV) and Bland–Altman plots assessed inter-session reliability. The effect of age on reliability was assessed by linear regression. Results Excellent reliability (ICC > 0.8) was shown for all voluntary and evoked mechanical outcomes. Vastus lateralis EMG outcomes showed excellent reliability (ICC > 0.8) with CoVs < 12%, which were better than those of vastus medialis and rectus femoris. Age was not associated with reliability for 27/28 outcomes (P > 0.05). Conclusion Excellent reliability of voluntary and evoked force and vastus lateralis EMG outcomes measured in healthy females can be attained in one experimental session, irrespective of age. Female neuromuscular function can be accurately assessed across the lifespan with minimal inconvenience, increasing feasibility for future research. The random error should however be considered when quantifying age-related differences in neuromuscular function.



European Journal of Applied Physiology










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