H reflex restitution and facilitation after different types of peripheral nerve injury and repair

Antoni Valero-Cabré, Xavier Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


This study addresses the restitution of monosynaptic H reflex after nerve injuries and their role in the recovery of walking. Adult rats were submitted to sciatic crush, complete section repaired by aligned or crossed fascicular suture, or an 8-mm resection repaired by autograft or tube repair. The sciatic nerve was stimulated proximal to the injury site and the M and H waves were recorded from gastrocnemius (GCm) and plantar (PLm) muscles at monthly intervals during 3 months postoperation. Walking track tests were also carried out and the sciatic functional index (SFI) calculated to assess gait recovery. The M and H waves reappeared in all the animals at the end of the follow-up. The H/M amplitude ratio increased during the first stages of regeneration and tended to decrease to control values as muscle reinnervation progressed. However, final values of the H/M ratio for the PLm remained significantly higher in all the groups except that with a nerve crush. The walking track pattern showed an appreciable recovery only after crush injury. Final SFI values correlated positively with the M wave amplitude and negatively with the H/M ratio. In conclusion, H reflex is facilitated after peripheral nerve injury and regeneration and tends to return to normal excitability with time. Changes in the H reflex circuitry and excitability correlated positively with the deficient recovery of walking pattern after severe nerve injury. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-312
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2001


  • Electromyograghy
  • H wave
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Regeneration
  • Reinnervation
  • Spinal cord
  • Walking


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