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Eur Spine J. 1996;5(5):338-44.

A study of motor and sensory evoked potentials in chronic cauda equina compression of the dog.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Abstract

Previous experimental studies have shown the effects of acute compression of the spinal cord and peripheral nerve roots. Recently, however, a few studies of chronic compression of the cauda equina in animal models have been reported. The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term electrophysiologic changes resulting from chronic compression of the cauda equina in dogs. An animal model of lumbar spinal stenosis was prepared according to Delamarter's method. Four experimental groups, each containing six dogs, were studied. One group underwent only laminectomy of the sixth and seventh lumbar vertebrae; these animals served as controls. In the three other groups, a laminectomy was performed and the cauda equina was constricted by 25%, 50%, and 75%, respectively, to produce chronic compression. Weekly neurologic examinations were carried out, and the neurologic deficits were graded using a modified Tarlov system. Sensory, and motor evoked potentials were recorded preoperatively, immediately after constriction, and at 2 weeks and 1, 2, and 3 months postoperatively. The animals in the control group showed no changes in sensory or motor evoked potentials. The dogs in which the cauda equina had been constricted by 25% showed no neurologic deficits and only mild changes in sensory and motor evoked potentials. The dogs in which the cauda equina had been constricted by 50% showed mild initial motor weakness, and major changes in the evoked potentials. The dogs in which the cauda equina had been constricted by 75% showed significant weakness, paralysis of the tail, and urinary incontinence; all dogs were partially recovered by the 3rd month, but all still showed neurogenic changes in the evoked potentials. Sensory and motor evoked potentials revealed neurologic abnormalities before the appearance of neurologic signs and symptoms. Constriction of more than 50% was the critical point that resulted in complete loss or reduction of the evoked potentials and in neurologic deficits. Dogs in which motor and sensory evoked potentials recovered also showed gradual disappearance of neurologic symptoms and signs. Recovery of motor evoked potentials in particular was associated with complete disappearance of neurologic symptoms and signs. For accurate prognosis in cases of chronic cauda equina compression, a combined diagnostic study of sensory and motor evoked potentials is recommended.

PMID:
8915640
DOI:
10.1007/bf00304350
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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