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SEP as a Sensory Pathway Integrity Check

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  • Create Date December 31, 2002

Over the past two decades, intraoperative spinal cord monitoring has matured into a widely used clinical tool. It is used when the spinal cord is at risk for damage during a surgery. This includes orthopedic, neurosurgical, and certain cardiothoracic procedures.

Endoscpic spine surgery is technically feasible, and often produces excellent clinical and neurological results. Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SEP) testing has been used in surgery as a measure of peripheral and central nervous system integrity in humans and animals. SEP baseline and post-operative measurements may document both preexisting conditions and operative outcomes when elements of the central and peripheral nervous system are at risk for compromise.

Compared with alternative techniques such as dermatomal SEP and Motor evoked potentials, SEP techniques are used most widely and generally accepted. SEP studies have also been shown to reduce surgical morbidity. A large multicenter study has shown that continuous intraoperative SEP monitoring reduces postoperative paraplegia by more than 50-60%.

Method for SEP collection is presented, results are discussed, and clinical correlation is provided in 100 patients.

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