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Comparison of Single- and Two-Channel Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Sites for Enhancing Venous Return

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5 Author(s)
Breen, P.P. ; Sch. of Eng. & Inf., Nat. Univ. of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland ; Galvin, O. ; Quondamatteo, F. ; Grace, P.A.
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Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has previously been used to activate the musculature of the lower leg and increase venous return to the heart. However, there is little evidence to suggest the superiority of one particular stimulation site over another. In this paper, we aim to reveal the optimal stimulation site on the lower leg in a group of healthy adults. Doppler ultrasound measurements of venous blood volume expelled and peak venous velocity in response to various single and two-channel applications of NMES were taken for each subject. We found that soleus NMES is the most effective single-channel stimulation method, capable of expelling 58.3% of the blood achieved during a voluntary contraction, alternatively soleus plus tibialis posterior stimulation is capable of expelling 76.5%. Based on these and other factors we suggest that the soleus and soleus plus tibialis posterior are the most effective NMES sites for improving venous return.

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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 3 )