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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 133

A role for motor and somatosensory evoked potentials during anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for patients without myelopathy: Analysis of 57 consecutive cases


1 Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD;Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ali Bydon
Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD;Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
USA
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© 2011 Xu et al; This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


DOI: 10.4103/2152-7806.85606

PMID: 22059128

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Background : Although the usage of combined motor and sensory intraoperative monitoring has been shown to improve the surgical outcome of patients with cervical myelopathy, the role of transcranial electric motor evoked potentials (tceMEP) used in conjunction with somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) in patients presenting with radiculopathy but without myelopathy has been less clear. Methods : We retrospectively reviewed all patients (n = 57) with radiculopathy but without myelopathy, undergoing anterior cervical decompression and fusion at a single institution over the past 3 years, who had intraoperative monitoring with both tceMEPs and SSEPs. Results : Fifty-seven (100%) patients presented with radiculopathy, 53 (93.0%) with mechanical neck pain, 35 (61.4%) with motor dysfunction, and 29 (50.9%) with sensory deficits. Intraoperatively, 3 (5.3%) patients experienced decreases in SSEP signal amplitudes and 4 (6.9%) had tceMEP signal changes. There were three instances where a change in neuromonitoring signal required intraoperative alteration of the surgical procedure: these were deemed clinically significant events/true positives. SSEP monitoring showed two false positives and two false negatives, whereas tceMEP monitoring only had one false positive and no false negatives. Thus, tceMEP monitoring exhibited higher sensitivity (33.3% vs. 100%), specificity (95.6% vs. 98.1%), positive predictive value (33.3% vs. 75.0%), negative predictive value (97.7% vs. 100%), and efficiency (91.7% vs. 98.2%) compared to SSEP monitoring alone. Conclusions : Here, we present a retrospective series of 57 patients where tceMEP/SSEP monitoring likely prevented irreversible neurologic damage. Though further prospective studies are needed, there may be a role for combined tceMEP/SSEP monitoring for patients undergoing anterior cervical decompression without myelopathy.



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