Changes in spinal cord hemodynamics reflect modulation of spinal network with different parameters of epidural stimulation

Shanshan Tang, Carlos A. Cuellar, Pengfei Song, Riazul Islam, Chengwu Huang, Hai Wen, Bruce E. Knudsen, Ping Gong, U. Wai Lok, Shigao Chen, Igor A. Lavrov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study functional ultrasound (fUS) imaging has been implemented to explore the local hemodynamics response induced by electrical epidural stimulation and to study real-time in vivo functional changes of the spinal cord, taking advantage of the superior spatiotemporal resolution provided by fUS. By quantifying the hemodynamics and electromyographic response features, we tested the hypothesis that the temporal hemodynamics response of the spinal cord to electrical epidural stimulation could reflect modulation of the spinal circuitry and accordingly respond to the changes in parameters of electrical stimulation. The results of this study for the first time demonstrate that the hemodynamics response to electrical stimulation could reflect a neural-vascular coupling of the spinal cord. Response in the dorsal areas to epidural stimulation was significantly higher and faster compared to the response in ventral spinal cord. Positive relation between the hemodynamics and the EMG responses was observed at the lower frequencies of epidural stimulation (20 and 40 Hz), which according to our previous findings can facilitate spinal circuitry after spinal cord injury, compared to higher frequencies (200 and 500 Hz). These findings suggest that different mechanisms could be involved in spinal cord hemodynamics changes during different parameters of electrical stimulation and for the first time provide the evidence that neural-vascular coupling of the spinal cord circuitry could be related to specific organization of spinal cord vasculature and hemodynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117183
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidural electrical stimulation
  • Functional ultrasound
  • Hemodynamics responses
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in spinal cord hemodynamics reflect modulation of spinal network with different parameters of epidural stimulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this