Nerve, muscle, and neuromuscular junction electrophysiology at high temperature

Seward B. Rutkove, Milind J. Kothari, Jeremy M. Shefner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Although the effect of low temperature on the peripheral nervous system has been systematically studied, the effect of high temperature has not. We investigated the effect of elevating limb temperature from 32°C to 42°C by performing sequential motor studies, antidromic sensory studies, and 3-Hz repetitive stimulation in normal subjects. In addition, we recorded single motor units by using threshold stimulation. On average, motor amplitude and duration decreased by 27% and 19%, respectively, whereas sensory amplitude and duration decreased by 50% and 26%, respectively. Neuromuscular transmission remained normal at 42°C. Single motor unit recordings revealed a reduction in amplitude of 26%, similar to the overall reduction in compound motor amplitude. These findings demonstrate that significant reductions in sensory and motor amplitudes can occur in normal nerves at high temperature; we hypothesize that these changes are secondary to alterations in nerve and muscle ion channel function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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