In post-stroke hemiparesis, neural impairment alters muscle control, causing abnormal movement and posture in the affected limbs. A decrease in voluntary use of the paretic arm and flexed posture during rest also induce secondary tissue transformation in the upper limb muscles. To obtain a specific, accurate, and reproducible marker of the current biological status of muscles, we collected visible (VIS) and short-wave Infrared (SWIR) reflectance spectra in vivo using a portable spectroradiometer (350–2500 nm), which provided the spectral fingerprints of the elbow flexors and extensors. We compared the spectra for the affected and unaffected sides in 23 patients with post-stroke hemiparesis (25–87 years, 8 women) and eight healthy controls (33–87 years, 5 women). In eight patients, spectra were collected before and after botulinum toxin injection. Spectra underwent off-line preprocessing, principal component analysis, and partial least-squares discriminant analysis. Spectral fingerprints discriminated the muscle (biceps vs. triceps), neurological condition (normal vs. affected vs. unaffected), and effect of botulinum toxin treatment (before vs. 30 to 40 days vs. 110 to 120 days after injection). VIS-SWIR spectroscopy proved valuable for non-invasive assessment of optical properties in muscles, enabled more comprehensive evaluation of hemiparetic muscles, and provided optimal monitoring of the effectiveness of medication.
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