Consistent repeated M- and H-wave recording in the hind limb of rats

K. D. Cliffer, J. R. Tonra, S. R. Carson, H. E. Radley, C. Cavnor, R. M. Lindsay, S. C. Bodine, P. S. DiStefano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Sensory and motor conduction velocities calculated from latencies of H reflexes and M waves in rat hind limbs have been used to assess experimental peripheral neuropathy. Amplitudes and latencies vary with recording location, and are seldom assessed directly. Using subcutaneous electrodes on the foot, we recorded consistent M waves and H reflexes while stimulating the sciatic or tibial nerve. The late wave disappeared when dorsal roots were cut, verifying that it was an H reflex. However, stimulus-response characteristics differed from those in humans: (a) the threshold was often higher than for M waves; (b) stimulus intensity eliciting a maximum H-reflex amplitude (H(max)) was often higher than adequate for a maximum M-wave amplitude; and (c) the amplitudes of H reflexes stimulated with intensities supramaximal for the M wave were over 90% of H(max), H reflexes and M waves recorded repeatedly in rats can be useful in assessing sensory and motor function in models of neuropathy, using amplitudes as well as conduction velocities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1405-1413
Number of pages9
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Conduction velocity
  • H reflex
  • M wave
  • Motor
  • Neuropathy
  • Sensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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