Determinants of motor unit action potential duration

Daniel Dumitru, John C. King, MacHiel J. Zwarts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: Motor unit action potential (MUAP) recordings are modeled by means of a single muscle fiber simulation program, to define two key subcomponents comprising the complete physiologic MUAP duration. A number of defining properties of these subcomponents are further developed.Methods: A single muscle fiber simulation program is utilized with various muscle fiber lengths and conduction velocities to generate near-field and far-field waveforms.Results: Two key subcomponents to the total physiologic single muscle fiber and hence MUAP duration are identified. One, defined as the near-field component, is directly dependent upon muscle fiber hemi-length. The other, defined as the far-field component, is independent of fiber length, but matches the internal action potential in duration. Both the near-field and far-field components are inversely dependent upon intracellular action potential conduction velocity. Additionally, temporal dispersion among the individual fibers contributing to a MUAP must be included in the overall MUAP duration calculation.Conclusions: It is hoped that this approach to MUAP duration may allow a more complete appreciation of the components contributing to the MUAP, than permitted by the empirically derived values for MUAP duration presently under clinical use. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1876-1882
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 1999


  • Intracellular action potential
  • Motor unit
  • Motor unit action potential
  • Volume conduction, Far-field potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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