Muscle Oxygenation of Vastus Lateralis and Medialis Muscles During Alternating and Pulsed Current Electrical Stimulation

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




This article was originally published as: Aldayel, A. , Muthalib, M. , Jubeau, M., Mcguigan, M. R., & Nosaka, K. (2011). Muscle oxygenation of vastus lateralis and medialis muscles during alternating and pulsed current electrical stimulation. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(5), 779-787. Original article available here


This study compared between alternating and pulsed current electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) for muscle oxygenation and blood volume during isometric contractions. Nine healthy men (23–48 years) received alternating current EMS (2500 Hz) modulated at 75 Hz on the knee extensors of one leg, and pulsed current EMS (75 Hz) for the other leg separated by 2 weeks in a randomised, counter-balanced order. Pulse duration (400 μs), on–off ratio (5–15 s) and other stimulation parameters were matched between conditions and 30 isometric contractions were induced at the knee joint angle of 100° (0° full extension). Changes in tissue oxygenation index (∆TOI) and total hemoglobin volume (∆tHb) of vastus lateralis and medialis muscles over 30 contractions were assessed by a near-infrared spectroscopy, and were compared between conditions by a two-way repeated measures ANOVA. Peak torque produced during EMS increased over 30 contractions in response to the increase in the stimulation intensity for pulsed current, but not for the alternating current EMS. The torque during each isometric contraction was less stable in alternating than pulsed current EMS. The changes in ∆TOI amplitude during relaxation phases and ∆tHb amplitude were not significantly different between conditions. However, the decreases in ∆TOI amplitude during contraction phases from baseline were significantly (P < 0.05) greater for the pulsed current than alternating current from the 18th contraction (−15.6 ± 2.3 vs. −8.9 ± 1.8%) to 30th contraction (−10.7 ± 1.8 vs. −4.8 ± 1.5%). These results suggest that the muscles were less activated in the alternating current EMS when compared with the pulsed current EMS.


Link to publisher version (DOI)