Estimation of fiber diameters in the spinal dorsal columns from clinical data
Wesselink, W A × Holsheimer, J Nuttin, Bart Boom, H B King, G W Gybels, J M de Sutter, P #
IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering vol:45 issue:11 pages:1355-62
Lack of human morphometric data regarding the largest nerve fibers in the dorsal columns (DC's) of the spinal cord has lead to the estimation of the diameters of these fibers from clinical data retrieved from patients with a new spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system. These patients indicated the perception threshold of stimulation induced paresthesia in various body segments, while the stimulation amplitude was increased. The fiber diameters were calculated with a computer model, developed to calculate the effects of SCS on spinal nerve fibers. This computer model consists of two parts: 1) a three-dimensional (3-D) volume conductor model of a spinal cord segment in which the potential distribution due to electrical stimulation is calculated and 2) an electrical equivalent cable model of myelinated nerve fiber, which uses the calculated potential field to determine the threshold stimulus needed for activation. It is shown that the largest fibers in the medial DC's are significantly smaller than the largest fibers in the lateral parts. This finding is in accordance with the fiber distribution in cat, derived from the corresponding propagation velocities. Moreover, it is shown that the mediolateral increase in fiber diameter is mainly confined to the lateral parts of the DC's. Implementation of this mediolateral fiber diameter distribution of the DC's in the computer model enables the prediction of the recruitment order of dermatomal paresthesias following increasing electrical stimulation amplitude.