European Spine Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 298–304 | Cite as

Preoperative pregabalin has no effect on intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring in adolescents undergoing posterior spinal fusion for spinal deformities: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial

  • Linda HeleniusEmail author
  • Antti Puhakka
  • Tuula Manner
  • Olli Pajulo
  • Ilkka Helenius
Original Article



This study was designed to evaluate the effect of preoperative pregabalin on intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring in adolescents undergoing surgery for spinal deformities.


Thirty-one adolescents undergoing posterior spinal fusion were randomized to receive preoperatively either pregabalin 2 mg/kg twice daily or placebo. The ability to make reliable intraoperative neurophysiological measurements, transcranial motor (MEPs) and sensory evoked potentials (SSEP) was evaluated.


Two patients (pregabalin group) did not fulfil the inclusion criteria and one patient’s (placebo group) spinal monitoring was technically incomplete and these were excluded from the final data. In the rest, spinal cord monitoring was successful. Anaesthesia prolonged the latency of MEPs and increased the threshold current of MEP. The current required to elicit MEPs did not differ between the study groups. There were no statistically significant differences between the study groups regarding the latency of bilateral SSEP (N32 and P37) and MEP latencies at any time point.


Preoperative pregabalin does not interfere spinal cord monitoring in adolescents undergoing posterior spinal fusion.

Level of evidence



Pregabalin Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring Motor evoked potentials Posterior spinal fusion 



We would like to show our warmest gratitude to Riku Aantaa, for expertise and comments that greatly assisted the research and this manuscript. We also want to thank Eliisa Löyttyniemi for the statistical analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards


The present study was funded by grants from university hospital, Foundations, and Industry. The funding body did not play a role in the investigation or writing of the manuscript. The funds were used only for salaries of the researchers and research nurses. Finska Läkaresällskapet, Turku University Hospital, Medtronic International, Foundation for Paediatric Research, and The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.

Conflict of interest

Ilkka Helenius has been working as a consultant for Medtronic International.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from every participant as well as from their both parents.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive careUniversity of Turku and Turku University HospitalTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Department of Paediatric Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of Turku and Turku University HospitalTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Department of Clinical NeurophysiologyUniversity of Turku and Turku University HospitalTurkuFinland

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