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Neurosurgery. 1992 Sep;31(3):520-6; discussion 526-7.

Origins and conducting pathways of motor evoked potentials elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation in cats.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Kagawa Medical School, Japan.


Spinal cord motor evoked potentials (MEPs-S) were elicited in cats by transcranial magnetic stimulation. The MEPs-S recorded from the epidural electrode at the first lumbar (L1) level consisted of four negative peaks (N1, 2.56; N2, 3.19; N3, 4.06; N4, 4.99 ms) followed by small, multiphasic waves. The mean conduction velocities of N1-N3 of the MEPs-S were calculated to be 90 to 115 m/s, which is consistent with extrapyramidal tract activation. A direct brain stem electrical stimulation and sequential transection of the spinal cord studies showed that N1-N3 of the MEPs-S originated primarily from the brain stem and conducted in the ventral funiculus of the spinal cord, which corresponded to the extrapyramidal tracts (e.g., the reticulospinal and vestibulospinal tracts). We also showed that N1 and N2 of the MEPs-S originated mainly from the lower medulla or upper cervical and that N3 originated from the lower pons or upper medulla (vestibular nucleus). On the other hand, N4 of the MEPs-S had a conduction velocity of 70 m/s, which disappeared by ablation of the sensorimotor cortex and pyramidotomy. A dorsal hemisection of the spinal cord, resulting in the disappearance of N4 of the MEPs-S, indicated that it conducted in the dorsolateral funiculus of the spinal cord. These results suggest that N4 of the MEPs-S originates from the sensorimotor cortex and conducts in the lateral corticospinal tract. MEPs-S by transcranial magnetic stimulation in cats constituted complex responses in both the pyramidal and extrapyramidal tracts.

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