Leg muscle reflexes mediated by cutaneous A-beta fibres are normal during gait in reflex sympathetic dystrophy
van der Laan, L × Boks, L M van Wezel, B M Goris, R J Duysens, Jaak #
Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology vol:111 issue:4 pages:677-685
OBJECTIVES: Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is, from the onset, characterized by various neurological deficits such as an alteration of sensation and a decrease in muscle strength. We investigated if afferent A-beta fibre-mediated reflexes are changed in lower extremities affected by acute RSD.METHODS: The involvement of these fibres was determined by analyzing reflex responses from the tibialis anterior (TA) and biceps femoris (BF) muscles after electrical stimulation of the sural nerve. The reflexes were studied during walking on a treadmill to investigate whether the abnormalities in gait of the patients were related either to abnormal amplitudes or deficient phase-dependent modulation of reflexes. In 5 patients with acute RSD of the leg and 5 healthy volunteers these reflex responses were determined during the early and late swing phase of the step cycle.RESULTS: No significant difference was found between the RSD and the volunteers. During early swing the mean amplitude of the facilitatory P2 responses in BF and TA increased as a function of stimulus intensity (1.5, 2 and 2.5 times the perception threshold) in both groups. At end swing the same stimuli induced suppressive responses in TA. This phase-dependent reflex reversal from facilitation in early swing to suppression in late swing occurred equally in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: In the acute phase of RSD of the lower extremity there is no evidence for abnormal A-beta fibre-mediated reflexes or for defective regulation of such reflexes. This finding has implications for both the theory on RSD pathophysiology and RSD models, which are based on abnormal functioning of A-beta fibres.