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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 166-172

Analysis of 1014 consecutive operative cases to determine the utility of intraoperative neurophysiological data

Department of Neurosurgery, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence Address:
Namath Syed Hussain
Department of Neurosurgery, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 30 Hope Drive, EC110, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033
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Source of Support: Nil, Conflict of Interest: None declared.

DOI: 10.4103/1793-5482.161197

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Introduction: Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IOM) during neurosurgical procedures has become the standard of care at tertiary care medical centers. While prospective data regarding the clinical utility of IOM are conspicuously lacking, retrospective analyses continue to provide useful information regarding surgeon responses to reported waveform changes. Methods: Data regarding clinical presentation, operative course, IOM, and postoperative neurological examination were compiled from a database of 1014 cranial and spinal surgical cases at a tertiary care medical center from 2005 to 2011. IOM modalities utilized included somatosensory evoked potentials, transcranial motor evoked potentials, pedicle screw stimulation, and electromyography. Surgeon responses to changes in IOM waveforms were recorded. Results: Changes in IOM waveforms indicating potential injury were present in 87 of 1014 cases (8.6%). In 23 of the 87 cases (26.4%), the surgeon responded by repositioning the patient (n = 12), repositioning retractors (n = 1) or implanted instrumentation (n = 9), or by stopping surgery (n = 1). Loss of IOM waveforms predicted postoperative neurological deficit in 10 cases (11.5% of cases with IOM changes). Conclusions: In the largest IOM series to date, we report that the surgeon responded by appropriate interventions in over 25% of cases during which there were IOM indicators of potential harm to neural structures. Prospective studies remain to be undertaken to adequately evaluate the utility of IOM in changing surgeon behavior. Our data is in agreement with previous observations in indicating a trend that supports the continued use of IOM.

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