Electrically elicited fatigue test of the quadriceps femoris muscle. Description and reliability

M. K. McDonnell, A. Delitto, D. R. Sinacore, S. J. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purposes of this study were to develop an electrically elicited fatigue test (EEFT) that uses electrically elicited isometric muscle contractions and to examine the reliability of this test on a group of healthy individuals. Fifteen subjects were tested on two occasions, one week apart. The subjects were seated and the left leg secured to an isokinetic dynamometer with the knee positioned at 45 degrees of flexion. Maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the quadriceps femoris muscle was obtained and resultant knee extension torque was recorded. The quadriceps femoris muscle then was stimulated 50 times at the current level that elicited a knee extension torque level equal to 60% of that obtained during the MVIC. Percentages of decline in torque were calculated. Test-retest reliability indexes were calculated for the means of contractions 21 to 25 (r = .82, ICC = .83) and for contractions 46 to 50 (r = .92, ICC = .82). The EEFT was found to be reliable and may provide a clinically applicable means of measuring peripheral muscle fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-945
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987


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