Motor unit action potentials as a source of noise in the non-invasive detection of fibrillation potentials

Steven Keller, Shai Gozani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Denervated muscle fibers produce spontaneous depolarizations termed fibrillation potentials. These potentials are an indicator of neuromuscular pathology and are detected by inserting a needle electrode into the muscle of interest to detect the time-based signal. A proposed non-invasive method measures the spectral energy corresponding to increased spontaneous muscle activity [1]. This paper exams the impact of normal muscle activity on such a method through the use of a computer model of fibrillation potentials and normal motor unit action potentials. A mathematical expression for the surface recorded signal is proposed and used as the basis for analyzing the temporal and spectral characteristics of spontaneous and normal motor activity. Based on these results, filtering methods for the removal of normal motor activity are proposed and future work needed to implement non-invasive detection of fibrillation potentials is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
Pages (from-to)1058-1061
Number of pages4
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology-Proceedings
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Electromyography
  • Fibrillation potentials
  • Motor unit action potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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