Excessive muscular fatigue in the postpoliomyelitis syndrome

K. R. Sharma, J. Kent-Braun, M. A. Mynhier, M. W. Weiner, Robert G. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


To investigate anterior tibial muscle fatigability and metabolism in postpoliomyelitis syndrome patients and controls, we performed measurements of force and relaxation time, as well as 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy, during intermittent, low-intensity, isometric, voluntary exercise. Both maximum voluntary contraction and tetanic force declined significantly more during exercise and subsequently recovered less in patients compared with controls, indicating greater fatigue in patients. However, intracellular pH and phosphocreatine were not different in the two groups at rest or during exercise or recovery, suggesting that the greater fatigue of the patients was not due to an excessive change of metabolites. Moreover, the pre-exercise half-relaxation time of the tetanus was significantly prolonged in patients compared with controls, and the decline in tetanic force during exercise was linearly related to the half-relaxation time of tetanus, suggesting impaired calcium kinetics. Taken together, the findings of increased fatigability, delayed recovery, and prolonged half- relaxation time, without differences in metabolites, suggest that the fatigue in postpoliomyelitis syndrome may be due to impaired activation beyond the muscle membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-646
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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