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Surg Technol Int. 2013 Sep;23:296-306.

Safety of intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring (TES and EMG) for spinal and cranial lesions.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery San Giovanni Addolorata Hospital Rome, Italy.
  • 2Department of Neurosurgery University Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca Murcia, Spain.


Intraoperative motor evoked potentials (MEP) and electromyography (EMG) monitoring in patients with spinal and cranial lesions is a valuable tool for prevention of postoperative motor deficits. The purpose of this study was to determine whether electrophysiological monitoring during skull base, spinal cord, and spinal surgery might be useful for predicting postoperative motor deterioration. From January 2012 to March 2013, thirty-three consecutive patients were studied using intraoperative monitoring (Nuvasive NV-M5 System) to check the integrity of brainstem, spinal cord, and nerve roots, recording transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs) and electromyography. Changes in MEPs and EMGs were related to postoperative deficits. Preoperative diagnosis included skull base and brainstem lesions (6 patients), spinal tumors (11 patients), spinal deformity (16 cases). Using TcMEPs and EMG is a practicable and safe method. MEPs are useful in any surgery in which the brainstem and spinal cord are at risk. EMG stimulation helps to identify an optimal trans-psoas entry point for an extreme lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF) approach to protect against potential nerve injury. This neural navigation technique via a surgeon-interpreted interface assists the surgical team in safely removing lesions and accessing the intervertebral disc space for minimally invasive spinal procedures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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