Strength-duration curve of conductive spinal cord evoked potentials in cats

Mami Ishikawa, Takayuki Ohira, Noriyuki Yamaguchi, Moriichiro Takase, Helmut Bertalanffy, Takeshi Kawase, Shigeo Toya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Strength-duration curves of the ascending and descending conductive spinal cord potentials (SCEPs) in cats were obtained using constant current stimuli. For the formulation of numeric indices of excitability, the rheobase is defined as the minimal current strength below which response cannot occur even if the current continues, and the chronaxie is defined as the minimal duration of a current required to evoke the potential at twice the rheobase strength. The chronaxies and rheobases were calculated from the constructed strength-duration curves. The purpose of this study is to produce strength-duration curves and to evaluate the utility of chronaxies and rheobases for SCEPs. This study showed the following results: (1) there was a hyperbolic relationship between stimulus strength and stimulus duration at threshold values, similar to that seen in peripheral nerves; (2) the ascending and descending tracts of SCEP were mediated through the same pathway (based on the similar chronaxies and rheobases); (3) following spinal cord compression the chronaxie and rheobase increased significantly (P < 0.05), which is similar to peripheral nerve disturbance. However, the rheobase decreased significantly following slight spinal cord compression (P < 0.05) and systemic cooling (P < 0.01), and the strength-duration curve shifted showing a tendency towards decrease of the galvanic threshold, therefore, amplitude augmentation with slight compression and with decrease in temperature seems to contribute to the reduction of the threshold. The strength-duration curve, the chronaxie and the rheobase may be useful in assessing spinal cord function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology - Evoked Potentials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jan 1


  • Hypothermia
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Threshold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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