Far-field potentials in muscle: A quantitative investigation

Daniel Dumitru, John C. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Far-field potentials have been produced from muscle tissue and shown to arise from both the proximal and distal musculotendinous junctions after the activation of a small group of muscle fibers. This investigation demonstrated that the polarity of muscle far-field potentials is consistent with the predictions of the leading/trailing dipole model. Far-field potential polarity was dependent upon the active electrode's orientation with respect to the positive or negative aspect of the trailing dipole after extinction of the leading dipole at the muculotendinous junction. This study also quantitatively measured the duration and magnitude of the two far-field potentials generated in the human biceps muscle by both proximal and distal muscle stimulation. The muscle far-field potential resulting from distal muscle stimulation closes to the musculotendinous junction was consistently shorter in mean duration (5.2msec ± 2.1) but larger in mean amplitude (22.3μV ± 12.9) compared with the second far-field potential mean duration (10.4msec ± 3.9) andamplitude (10.0μV ± 3.7). The mean areas under the curve for these far-field potentials, however, were comparable at 48.0msec μV and 48.7msec μV. Proximal muscle stimulation resulted in similar findings for the first far-field potential's mean duration, amplitude, and area (6.0msec; 19.7μV; 50.6msec μV, respectively) in relation to those of the second far-field potential (12.5msec; 9.1μV 49.1msec μV). The differences in amplitude and duration of the two far-field potentials, with similar areas, are consistent with, and can be adequately explained by, temporal dispersion effects of the muscle fiber action potentials' propagation over distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-274
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992


  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Muscle
  • Neural conduction
  • Potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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