Neurophysiological and urodynamic examinations in the functional assessment of the spinal cord below the injury site

Giampietro Zanette, Carlo Righetti, Paolo Manganotti, Alberto Polo, Michele Tinazzi, Antonio Fiaschi, Luigi Tosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the characteristics of specific components of the evoked electrospinogram (EESG) in response to tibial nerve stimulation in 28 patients with traumatic injury of the dorsal and cervical spinal cord. The data were correlated with clinical, urodynamic and additional neurophysiological findings. In the majority of patients (82%), 11 with complete and 12 with partial spinal cord lesions, the lumbar components of the EESG were normal. In 4 of these patients with complete lesion above T2 the dorsal EESG was absent. In 5 cases (18%), the lumbosacral EESG was altered in the presence of an atypical clinical syndrome characterized by persistent urinary retention associated with lower leg atrophy and reduced tendon jerks. In these cases, MRI provided evidence of an unexpected sacral lesion. Unlike the dorsal EESG reflecting the afferent dorsal column volley, the lumbar components of the EESG are usually unaffected by interruption of the cord pathways; these last events thus originate from segmental neuronal activity, the involvement of which bears witness to additional lumbosacral damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Evoked electrospinogram
  • Generator
  • Lumbosacral somatosensory evoked potentials
  • Occult sacral lesion
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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