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Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Cycling for Children With Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Shriners Hospitals for Children Identifier:
First received: October 27, 2005
Last updated: January 29, 2009
Last verified: January 2009

The overall objective of this research project is to examine the clinical efficacy of lower extremity cycling with functional electrical stimulation to improve the health and fitness of children with spinal cord injuries (SCI). To achieve this goal, a controlled, randomized study will be conducted with thirty children who have sustained a spinal cord injury. The children in the study will be assigned to one of three groups: those receiving functional electrical stimulation (FES) leg cycling exercise, those receiving passive leg cycling, and a non-cycling control group receiving electrical stimulation therapy to generate muscle contractions in the lower extremity. All three groups will be balanced as to the amount of time they receive the specific therapy. All therapies, after initial assessment, will be conducted at home in order to foster changes in lifestyle that may prove to be essential for improved quality of life.

The specific aims of this proposal are delineated below:

Aim 1: To assess, by means of a randomized controlled study design, the ability of FES cycling to improve the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems of ten children with a spinal cord injury, as compared to ten children undergoing passive leg cycling exercise and ten children receiving electrical stimulation therapy alone.

Aim 2: To determine, by means of a randomized controlled study design, the feasibility of using FES leg cycling exercise to provide long-term health benefits and improve the neurologic status of ten children with a spinal cord injury, as compared to ten children undergoing passive leg cycling exercise and ten children receiving electrical stimulation therapy alone.

Condition Intervention
Spinal Cord Injury Device: FES Cycle Device: ES therapy Device: Passive (Motor Assist) Cycle

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Lower Extremity Cycling With Functional Electrical Stimulation to Improve the Health and Fitness of Children With Spinal Cord Injuries

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Shriners Hospitals for Children:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Muscle Cross Sectional Area [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
  • ES Muscle Strength [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  • Bone Mineral Density of Hip and Knee [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  • Cholesterol [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  • White Blood Cell Count [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  • Peak Resistive Force [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  • Ashworth Scale [ Time Frame: 12 motnhs ]
  • Spasm Scale [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  • Quality of Life (PedsQL) [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  • ASIA assessment [ Time Frame: 12 months ]

Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: March 2004
Study Completion Date: June 2008
Primary Completion Date: June 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 1
Passive (Motor Assist) Cycle
Device: Passive (Motor Assist) Cycle
Subjects will use a cycle that moves the legs for 1 hour/3x per week
Active Comparator: 2 Device: ES therapy
Subjects will electrically stimulate the leg muscles for 1 hour/ 3x week
Experimental: 3 Device: FES Cycle
Subjects will use electrical stimulation of the leg muscles to pedal a cycle for 1 hour / 3x week

  Show Detailed Description


Ages Eligible for Study:   5 Years to 15 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Satisfactory general health
  2. Twelve months post injury to allow for plateau in neurology function, bowel patterns, and cardiovascular patterns
  3. Cervical (tetraplegia) or thoracic (paraplegia) level spinal cord injury (ASIA A and ASIA B classifications)
  4. Intact lower motor neurons of the targeted lower extremity muscles
  5. Skeletally immature (5 to 15 years of age)
  6. Ability to maintain an upright position with minimal support
  7. Adequate time available for trial participation (12 months)

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Conditions (e.g. arthritis) requiring chronic steroid treatment
  2. Symptomatic or known cardiac disease
  3. Presence of a seizure disorder
  4. Pulmonary disease limiting exercise tolerance
  5. Conflicting implanted devices which may be adversely affected by the electrical stimulation (any implanted medical device, including a cardiac pacemaker or electronic Baclofen pump)
  6. History of lower limb stress fractures
  7. Severe spasticity in legs - score of ³ 4 on the Modified Ashworth scale
  8. Presence of a Grade 2 or higher pressure area on the legs, buttocks, or trunk
  9. Severely limited range of joint motion/irreversible muscle contractures
  10. Ossification of joints in the lower limbs
  11. Hip instability / dislocation
  12. History of uncontrolled autonomic dysreflexia
  13. Previous participant in electrical stimulation or activity based therapy (i.e. cycling, treadmill training) within 3 months of enrollment
  14. Small size of the subject limiting the ability to be safely positioned on the bicycle
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00245726

United States, Maryland
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21205
United States, Pennsylvania
Shriners Hospitals for Children
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19140
Sponsors and Collaborators
Shriners Hospitals for Children
Principal Investigator: Richard Lauer, PhD Shriners Hospitals for Children
Principal Investigator: John W McDonald, MD, PhD Kennedy Kreiger Institute
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Richard T. Lauer, Shriners Hospitals for Children Identifier: NCT00245726     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: SHC-8540
Study First Received: October 27, 2005
Last Updated: January 29, 2009

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Wounds and Injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal Cord Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Trauma, Nervous System processed this record on August 23, 2017