Last update:


Arch Hellen Med, 23(2), March-April 2006, 167-172


Morphological and morphometrical study of the human muscle spindle
in diseases with denervation

Laboratory of Myopathology, Neurologic Clinic, "Ňginition" Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE Investigation of the involvement of the muscle spindle in the pathological process of neurogenic diseases, and description of the morphological and especially the morphometrical features of muscle spindle and the diagnostic usefulness of this method.

METHOD Seventy-four muscle spindles were examined in various neurogenic diseases. The parameters determinated were the diameter and the area of the spindle, the number, the diameter and the area of intrafusal fibers, the number and the area of nuclei. The ratio of the area of the intrafusal fibers to the area of nuclei and the ratio of the area of the spindle to the area of the intrafusal fibers were calculated.

RESULTS Statistically significant changes in the parameters were observed in various neurogenic diseases, and specifically in Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, the area of the nuclei (—=0.021), in other motor neuron diseases, the number of the intrafusal fibers (—=0.014), their diameter (—=0.006), their area (—=0.032) and the area of the nuclei (—=0.051), and in polyneuropathies, the diameter of the intrafusal fibres (—=0.046).

CONCLUSIONS According to the findings of the study, the muscle spindle undergoes significant alterations in its morphometric characteristics, in conjunction with the lesions of the extrafusal fibers, in several neurogenic diseases. Study of the muscle spindles could enhance the diagnostic value of the muscle biopsy.

Key words: Morphometry, Muscle spindle, Neurogenic diseases.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine