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Subcortical P30 potential following tibial nerve stimulation: Detection and normative data

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Stimulation of the tibial nerve evokes a P30 far-field potential over the scalp which, like the median nerve P14, probably originates in the vicinity of the cervico-medullary junction. Unlike the P14 potential. P30 recording has not been systematically performed in clinical practice, probably because of doubts about the generator of the potential and the possibility of consistently recording it on the scalp after the unilateral stimulation of the tibial nerve. In this study, we tested the reliability of the tibial nerve scalp far-field P30 potential in 34 normal subjects using different montages, of which the Fpz-Cv6 derivation gave the highest signal to noise ratio, making it possible to obtain a P30 potential peaking at 29.2 ± 1.6 msec in all normal subjects. This suggests that this component should to be included in the routine recording of tibial nerve SEPs in order to evaluate the spinal and intracranial conduction of the somatosensory pathway separately.


La stimolazione del nervo tibiale posteriore genera sullo scalpo un potenziale far-field P30 che origina, come il potenziale P14 da stimazione del nervo mediano, in prossimità della giunzione cervicomidollare.

A differenza della componente P14, la risposta P30 non viene sistematicamente valutata nella pratica clinica, probabilmente per le incertezze relative alla sua precisa origine e alla possibilità di registrare in modo consistente questa componente dopo stimolazione unilaterale del nervo tibiale. In questo studio abbiamo valutato l'affidabilità della registrazione del potenziale P30 in 34 soggetti normali utilizzando differenti montaggi.

Tra i diversi montaggi utilizzati la migliore risposta in termini di rapporto segnale/rumore veniva registrata nella derivazione Fpz-Cv6 che permetteva di ottenere un potenziale P30 con una latenza di 29.2±1.6 msec in tutti i soggetti normali.

Questo studio suggerisce che la registrazione di questa componente merita di essere inclusa nello studio dei PESS del nervo tibiale per una valutazione separata della conduzione sensitiva midollare e intracranica.

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Correspondence to Dr. M. Tinazzi.

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Tinazzi, M., Zanette, G., Polo, A. et al. Subcortical P30 potential following tibial nerve stimulation: Detection and normative data. Ital J Neuro Sci 16, 623–628 (1995).

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Key Words

  • Tibial nerve SEPs
  • Spinal conduction
  • Intracranial conduction