Journal of Neurology

, Volume 254, Issue 1, pp 14–19 | Cite as

Cutaneous silent periods in the evaluation of cord compression in cervical spondylosis

  • Y.L. LoEmail author
  • Y.E. Tan
  • Y.F. Dan
  • T.H. Leoh
  • S.B. Tan
  • C.T. Tan
  • L.L. Chan



The clinical diagnosis of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) may be challenging in patients with cervical spondylosis (CS). Routine nerve conduction studies (NCS) may not evaluate cord compression adequately.


We obtained cutaneous silent periods (CSP) in 26 consecutive patients presenting with clinical features of CS, in comparison with 30 normal controls. The results were also compared with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) findings, and magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical cord as the gold standard.


CSP findings showed similarly high sensitivity of up to 96% with TMS in evaluating cervical cord dysfunction.


In specific clinical settings, CSP is of value for the diagnosis of CSM in CS. CSP measurement is advocated as a simple and rapid diagnostic adjunct to NCS in evaluating CS patients with possible cord compromise.


nerve conduction studies cord compression cervical spondylosis 



The authors thank S Fook-Chong for her advice.


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag Darmstadt 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y.L. Lo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Y.E. Tan
    • 2
  • Y.F. Dan
    • 2
  • T.H. Leoh
    • 2
  • S.B. Tan
    • 3
  • C.T. Tan
    • 3
  • L.L. Chan
    • 4
  1. 1.Dept. of NeurologyNational Neuroscience Institute, Singapore General HospitalSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Dept. of NeurologySingapore General HospitalSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Dept. of Orthopedic SurgerySingapore General HospitalSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Dept. of Diagnostic RadiologySingapore General HospitalSingaporeSingapore

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