Test-Retest Reliability and Reproducibility of Laser- versus Contact-Displacement Sensors in Mechanomyography: Implications for Musculoskeletal Research

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 The University of Queensland
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Whole muscle mechanomyography (MMG) has gained considerable interest in recent years for its ability to noninvasively determine muscle contractile properties (ie, contraction time [Tc], half-relaxation time [1/2Tr], and maximal displacement [Dmax)]). The aim of this study was to evaluate the test-retest reliability of two fairly novel MMG transducers: a laser-displacement sensor (LDS) and contact-displacement sensor (CDS). MMG was conducted on the rectus femoris muscle of 30 healthy individuals on 4 separate occasions. Test-retest reliability was quantified using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Both sensors were reliable for time-derived parameters Tc (ICCs, 0.85–0.88) and 1/2Tr (0.77–0.89), with Dmax identified as the most reproducible parameter (0.89–0.94). The 2 sensors produced similar Tc and Dmax measures, although significant (P < .05) systematic bias was identified with the CDS recording higher mean values, on average. However, these differences may not be considered clinically significant. The wide limits of agreement identified between 1/2Tr measures (–19.0 ms and 25.2 ms) are considered unreliable from a clinical perspective. Overall, MMG demonstrated good-to-excellent reliability for the assessment of muscle contractile properties with no significant differences identified between sessions, thus further validating its applicability as a noninvasive measure of muscle contractile properties.

Seidl, Tosovic, and Brown are with the Department of Anatomy & Developmental Biology, The University of Queensland, Queensland Australia.

Address author correspondence to Laura Seidl at uqlseidl@uq.edu.au.
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