Between-day reliability of upper extremity H-reflexes

Ann Marie Stowe, Laura Hughes-Zahner, Antonis Pantakis Stylianou, Sheila Schindler-Ivens, Barbara Marie Quaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


H-reflexes are useful for evaluating the group Ia monosynaptic reflex excitability in the lower and upper extremities (UEs). However, there is no established between-day protocol for measuring H-reflex excitability in the UE extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL). The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable protocol to measure the H-reflex excitability between-days for the ECRL, and the antagonist muscle, the flexor carpi radialis (FCR). H-reflex recruitment curves were recorded from eight healthy young subjects over 3 consecutive days in both muscles. Variables associated with the H-reflex excitability were measured: (a) maximum amplitude (Hmax); (b) gain (HGN); (c) threshold (HTH, visHTH, and sdHTH). All variables were normalized with respect to the M-wave. Within individual muscles, there were no statistically significant differences between-days for the group (p > 0.05) and variables showed fair to good reliability (ICC = 0.57-0.99). This method of reliably measuring H-reflex excitability within UE muscles will be useful for investigating the effects of pathology and rehabilitation on monosynaptic reflexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 30 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Rebecca Maletsky, Laura Herbelin, RN, Virginia Barnes, Danielle Keenan, PT, and Abby Leising for their technical assistance. We would also like to thank The Foundation for Physical Therapy, Inc., Magistro Award 2006, for funding of this study.


  • Between-day reliability
  • H-reflex
  • Healthy adults
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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