Recovery of long-term denervated human muscles induced by electrical stimulation

Helmut Kern, Stanley Salmons, Winfried Mayr, Katia Rossini, Ugo Carraro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the restorative potential of intensive electrical stimulation in a patient with long-standing quadriceps denervation. Stimulation started 18 months after injury. After 26 months, the thighs were visibly less wasted. Muscle cross-sectional areas, measured by computerized tomography, increased from 36.0 cm2 to 57.9 cm2 (right) and from 36.1 cm2 to 52.4 cm2 (left). Knee torque had become sufficient to maintain standing without upper extremity support. Biopsies revealed evidence of both growth and regeneration of myofibers. The results suggest that electrical stimulation may offer a route to the future development of mobility aids in patients with lower motor neuron lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-101
Number of pages4
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • Chronic denervation
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Human
  • Muscle regeneration
  • Paraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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