European Spine Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 787–793 | Cite as

Transcranial motor-evoked potentials monitoring can detect spinal cord ischemia more rapidly than spinal cord-evoked potentials monitoring during aortic occlusion in rats

  • Manabu Kakinohana
  • Seiya Nakamura
  • Tatsuya Fuchigami
  • Kazuhiro Sugahara
Original Article


In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of transcranial motor-evoked potentials (tc-MEPs), compared with segmental spinal cord-evoked potentials (SCEPs), for detecting spinal cord ischemia (SCI) and assessed the relationship between neurological outcome and tc-MEPs or SCEPs in the rat aortic occlusion model. In the rats, SCI was induced by aortic occlusion for 10 min with a balloon catheter. At first, tc-MEPs (Group A: n = 6) or segmental SCEPs (Group B: n = 6) was recorded during SCI. Second, in using the quantal bioassay for the relationship between an interval of aortic occlusion and the probability of positive response in tc-MEPs or segmental SCEPs, the P50MEP and P50SCEP which represent the interval of aortic occlusion associated with 50% probability of assessment of ischemic spinal cord dysfunction by tc-MEP and SCEP were analyzed. The amplitude of tc-MEPs decreased significantly at 30 s and disappeared completely at 2 min after aortic occlusion. In Group B, it took about 6 min after aortic occlusion to diminish SCEP signal amplitude by approximately 50%. P50MEP obtained in the quantal analysis was 0.3 ± 0.1 min. P50SCEP was calculated as 6.2 ± 0.5 min that was significantly (P < 0.01) longer than P50MEP. Our data indicated that tc-MEP monitoring could detect the onset of SCI so rapidly in comparison with segmental SCEP monitoring, which could provide therapeutic windows in a surgical approach that includes spinal cord protection.


Spinal cord ischemia Spinal cord monitoring Motor-evoked monitoring Sensory-evoked monitoring 



This study was performed under the support of the Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education of Japan (No. 16591551, 17591479).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manabu Kakinohana
    • 1
  • Seiya Nakamura
    • 1
  • Tatsuya Fuchigami
    • 1
  • Kazuhiro Sugahara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology University of the Ryukyus Nishihara, OkinawaJapan

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