THERMAL EFFECTS OF FUNCTIONAL ELECTRICAL STIMULATION.

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Authors: Swain, I.D., Colvin, J.B., Ring, E.F., Russell, J., Grundy, D. and Grant, L.J.

Journal: IEE Colloquium (Digest)

Issue: 1986 /6

ISSN: 0963-3308

Erythema is almost invariably observed under the electrodes following functional electrical stimulation, even though the electrical power applied to the tissue is often not sufficient to cause an appreciable change in temperature. This is usually a short lived phenomenon, disappearing within one hour, with the temperature of the erythematous area often remaining the same as the surrounding tissue. Real time infra red thermography has been used in a controlled ambient temperature of 21 degree C. Standardised quantitative thermal images were recorded on high band pass 1 inch video tape, connected to an LSI-11 computer and Intellect image processing system. Normal control subjects have been examined, together with spinal patients with complete and incomplete lesions. In all cases the stimulation was cyclical with a 0. 3 mS pulse width at a pulse repetition rate of 20 pulses per second, for a period of 45 minutes. A variety of electrodes were investigated and the current and voltage wave-forms recorded in addition to the thermal images.

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