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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


CANCELLIERO, KM; COSTA, D  and  SILVA, CA. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the diaphragm improves the metabolic conditions of respiratory muscles in rats. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2006, vol.10, n.1, pp.59-65. ISSN 1413-3555.

Objective: To evaluate the respiratory muscle glycogen content and electrocardiogram (ECG) records of rats subjected to transcutaneous electric stimulation of the diaphragm (TESD). Method: Two groups (n=6) of male adult Wistar rats were utilized over a five-day period: controls (C) and TESD treatment (f = 50Hz; TON / TOFF = 2/2 sec.; T = 400ms, i = 5mA with 1mA increase every three min.; t = 20 minutes). After this period, ECG analysis was done, followed by sacrificing the animals to obtain samples of the pectoral, intercostal, diaphragm and abdominal (A) muscles, which were used for glycogen content analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using the normality and Student t tests (p<0.05). Results: In comparison with the C group, TESD presented 42.85% glycogen increase in the diaphragm muscle (C: 0.21 ± 0.008 vs. TESD: 0.30 ± 0.04, p>0.05); 81.2% in the intercostal muscle (C: 0.32 ± 0.08 vs. TESD: 0.58 ± 0.17, p>0.05); 96.7% in the pectoral muscle (C: 0.30 ± 0.05 vs. TESD: 0.59 ± 0.06, p<0.05); and 104.5% in the abdominal muscles (C: 0.22 ± 0.01 vs. TESD: 0.45 ± 0.03, p<0.05). The ECG analysis showed that there were no alterations in the parameters analyzed (heart rate and QR, QT and QTc intervals) in the TESD group. Conclusion: This study suggests a protocol for TESD using an animal model. The results showed the efficacy of the protocol for improving the energy conditions in the respiratory musculature without interfering in cardiac electric dynamics.

Keywords : electrical stimulation; glycogen; diaphragm; ECG.

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