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Excitation of dorsal root fibers in spinal cord stimulation: a theoretical study

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3 Author(s)
J. J. Struijk ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Twente Univ., Enschede, Netherlands ; J. Holsheimer ; H. B. K. Boom

In epidural spinal cord stimulation it is likely not only that dorsal column fibers are activated, but also that dorsal root fibers will be involved as well. In this investigation a volume conductor model of the spinal cord was used and dorsal root fibers were modeled by an electrical network including fiber excitation. The effects of varying some geometric fiber characteristics, as well as the influence of the dorsal cerebrospinal fluid layer and the electrode configuration on the threshold stimulus for their excitation, were assessed. The threshold values were compared with those of dorsal column fibers. The results of this modeling study predict that, besides the well known influence of fiber diameter, the curvature of the dorsal root fibers and the angle between these fibers and the spinal cord axis are a major influence on their threshold values. Because of these effects, threshold stimuli of dorsal root fibers were relatively low as compared to dorsal column fibers. Excitation of the dorsal root fibers occurred near the entry point of the fibers.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 7 )