Efficacy of electrical stimulation of denervated muscle: A multicenter, double-blind, randomized clinical trial

Giulia Piccinini, Cristina Cuccagna, Pietro Caliandro, Daniele Coraci, Marco Germanotta, Cristiano Pecchioli, Luca Padua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: This was a multicenter, double-blind, randomized clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of electrical stimulation of denervated muscle (ESDM) on recovery of patients with peripheral nerve injuries. Methods: We enrolled 38 patients with traumatic peripheral nerve injuries with axonal damage and clinical impairment of two muscles, who were randomly treated with real or sham electrical stimulation (ES). Clinical and neurophysiological examinations were performed before treatment, at the end of treatment, and 3 mo posttreatment, by the same physician who was blinded to the ES allocation. Results: All patients improved but there was no significant beneficial effect of ESDM compared with sham treatment. Conclusions: This study failed to demonstrate the efficacy of ESDM for peripheral nerve injuries. However, given the large number of variables related to ES and the heterogeneity in disease etiologies and clinical manifestations, future studies on homogeneous populations using different stimulation protocols may be useful.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • denervated muscle
  • electrical stimulation
  • electromyography
  • peripheral nerve injuries
  • recovery of function
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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