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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1992 Aug;36(6):495-504.

Monitoring of the neuromuscular transmission by electromyography (I). Stability and temperature dependence of evoked EMG response compared to mechanical twitch recordings in the cat.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Herlev Hospital, Denmark.


The stability over time and the effect of muscle temperature change were evaluated for the evoked compound EMG and for the mechanomyogram of the tibialis anterior muscle of 7 anaesthetized cats. Both EMG areas and amplitudes were recorded. During stimulation for 3 h with 0.1 Hz (one leg) and train-of-four (TOF) (the other leg), the EMG was stable while the mechanomyogram initially increased 35-50% in the first 7-8 min and then decreased 19-22% and 5-8% over the first and second 1.5-h period, respectively. During subsequent mean muscle temperature reduction to 28.8 degrees C (0.1 Hz) and 29.7 degrees C (TOF) and rewarming, an inverse linear relationship was found between temperature and both the EMG and the mechanomyogram. During temperature reduction EMG increased about 6% (areas) and 2% (amplitudes) per degrees C. During rewarming, parameters decreased about 4.5% and 2% per degrees C, respectively (P less than 0.05 comparing EMG areas during cooling and rewarming). TOF ratio of the EMG was not affected by temperature. A very large interindividual variation was observed for the effect of temperature on the mechanomyogram with changes ranging up to 15% per degrees C for some cats. TOF ratio of the mechanomyogram was reduced from 1.02 to 0.94 at lowest muscle temperature. It is concluded that the evoked EMG may be preferable to the mechanomyogram in cat experiments investigating the neuromuscular transmission.

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