Somatosensory evoked potentials have been serially recorded in 21 patients with cervical spinal cord injury. Each patient received the SEP test and a full neurological examination within 1 day after admission, after surgery, and 3-6 weeks following admission. Further SEP test and clinical evaluation were carried out 3-6 months after injury. Neurological status was graded according to the Sunnybrook Scale. In all patients we evaluated latency and amplitude of SEPs obtained from both median and tibial nerve stimulation. Immediately following injury SEPs were absent in 6 patients, abnormal in 10, and normal in 5 patients. No surgery was carried out in patients with normal SEPs where myelography and CT scan could not demonstrate surgical lesions. Four patients had some distal motor improvement but SEPs still absent, one had traceable SEPs following surgery but no motor improvement. Surgery was performed in all 10 patients with abnormal SEPs: 7 patients improved following surgery. In two patients SEPs showed an early postoperative recovery with subsequent late clinical improvement. The SEP technique is well suited to the non invasive study of spinal cord condition and serial recording in patients with spinal cord injury. Although SEPs are of limited clinical value when absent immediately following trauma, the presence of well preserved median and tibial SEP in the postinjury period indicates the best prognosis for motor and sensory functions.
|Translated title of the contribution||Somatosensory evoked potentials in the evaluation and follow-up of patients with cervical vertebral and spinal cord injuries|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine