Usefulness of Transcranial Motor Evoked Potentials During Thoracoabdominal Aortic Surgery

Kobe University, Kōbe, Hyōgo, Japan
The Annals of thoracic surgery (Impact Factor: 3.85). 03/2007; 83(2):456-61. DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2006.09.056
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of myogenic transcranial motor evoked potentials (tc-MEPs) for spinal cord ischemia in the repair of descending thoracic or thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.
Intraoperative tc-MEPs was used in 72 patients who underwent the repair of descending thoracic (n = 24) or thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (n = 49) classed as Crawford I in 10 patients, II in 12, III in 23, and IV in 3. There were 52 men and 20 women, and their mean age was 64.9 +/- 12.8 years. Tc-MEPs were recorded by transcranial electrical stimulation and compound muscle action potentials.
The hospital mortality rate was 5.6% (n = 4), and the incidence of neurologic deficits was 11.1% (n = 8). All patients whose MEP amplitude recovered to more than 75% of the baseline showed normal spinal function, and 8 of 9 patients whose MEP amplitude decreased to below 75% of the baseline at the end of the procedure showed neurologic deficits postoperatively. The sensitivity of tc-MEPs was 100% and specificity was 98.4%. Latency in patients with postoperative paraplegia was 123% +/- 9% and was significantly prolonged at the end of the procedure.
Tc-MEPs were very sensitive and specific to spinal cord ischemia with reduced amplitude and prolongation of the latency period. Tc-MEPs are considered a useful monitor of spinal cord ischemia during descending thoracic or thoracoabdominal aortic surgery.

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    • "In addition, intraoperative monitoring of spinal cord potentials, such as motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), evoked spinal cord potentials (ESCPs), and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) have been used to assess spinal cord function during surgery [5—10]. However, when spinal cord potentials are monitored, the incidence of paraplegia following thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic surgery ranges from 4.2% to 11.3% [5] [7] [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In order to determine whether critical intercostal artery is present in the aneurysm during descending thoracic or thoracoabdominal aortic surgery, changes of transcranial motor-evoked potentials (Tc-MEPs) were monitored following infusion of cold blood into the aorta as an adjunct 'on-site assessment'. Accuracy of this method was evaluated. Fourteen patients were examined for Tc-MEPs changes following infusion of cold blood (4 degrees C, 300-450 ml) into the aneurysm. The intercostal arteries in the aneurysm were reconstructed when the Tc-MEPs amplitude decreased to below 50% of the baseline within 3 min after cold blood infusion. When the amplitude did not decrease, every intercostal artery in the aneurysm was ligated. The Tc-MEPs amplitude did not decrease in eight cases (57%), while it decreased in six cases (43%). In the former, no case presented with paraplegia despite every intercostal artery being ligated. In the latter, the amplitude recovered after reconstruction in four patients, who had no paraplegia postoperatively. In the remaining two cases, however, the amplitude did not recover: one died of multiple organ failure with postoperative assessment unfeasible; the other developed paraplegia following surgery. Except one case with operative death, both sensitivity and specificity of our criteria with cold blood infusion was 100% in this series. Cold blood infusion into the clamped segment of aorta accelerates Tc-MEPs changes and can possibly reduce ischemic insults of spinal cord during diagnostic process, while it accurately detects presence of critical intercostal artery in the segment. This method appears to be promising adjunct on-site assessment.
    Full-text · Article · May 2008 · European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
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    Preview · Article · Dec 2006 · Medicina
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    ABSTRACT: Prevention of paraplegia during the repair of thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms and dissections present a substantial challenge to the operative team. The value of intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring (IOM) is to identify spinal cord ischemia that occurs during the procedure and guide the intraoperative management to reduce the risks of paralysis. The usefulness of IOM techniques requires an understanding of spinal cord blood flow and the spinal cord physiology, the surgical technique and their interaction. This paper will integrate these factors to review the laboratory and clinical experience with somatosensory evoked responses (SSEP) and motor evoked potentials (MEP) during thoraco-abdominal aorta surgery.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology
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