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Hyeoncheol Hwang, Kyu-Chang Wang, Moon Suk Bang, Hyung-Ik Shin, Seung-Ki Kim, Ji Hoon Phi, Ji Yeoun Lee, Jinwoo Choi, Seungwoo Cha, and Keewon Kim

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to establish optimal electric stimulation parameters for intraoperatively monitoring the bulbocavernosus reflexes (BCRs) in infants.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all infants (age < 24 months) who had undergone an untethering operation for tethered cord syndrome between May 2013 and February 2014 at a single institution and whose baseline BCR had been elicited during surgery. Using different combinations of stimulation parameters—number of stimulation pulses: 4 or 8 pulses, interpulse interval: 1, 2, or 5 msec, and polarity of stimulation: biphasic or monophasic—the authors compared the relative mean amplitude of 10 BCR responses (rmaBCRs) to each combination of parameters.

RESULTS

The rmaBCRs were larger with the 8-pulse stimulations than with the 4-pulse stimulations (p < 0.0001). There was a tendency, though not statistically significant, for larger rmaBCRs to be obtained with the longer interpulse interval in the 8-pulse stimulation (p = 0.1289). The biphasic stimulation produced larger rmaBCRs than the monophasic stimulation (p = 0.0005).

CONCLUSIONS

Biphasic 8-pulse stimulations with 5-msec or 2-msec intervals yield the largest BCR responses. Considering that an 8-pulse stimulation with 5-msec intervals may overlap the onset of the BCR, a biphasic 8-pulse stimulation with 2-msec intervals is recommended as the optimal stimulation paradigm to monitor intraoperative BCRs in infants.

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You Gyoung Yi, Keewon Kim, Hyung-Ik Shin, Moon Suk Bang, Hee-Soo Kim, Jinwoo Choi, Kyu-Chang Wang, Seung-Ki Kim, Ji Yeoun Lee, Ji Hoon Phi, and Han Gil Seo

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to investigate the feasibility and safety of intraoperative motor evoked potential (MEP) monitoring in infants less than 3 months of age.

METHODS

The authors investigated 25 cases in which infants younger than 3 months (mean age 72.8 days, range 39–87) underwent neurosurgery between 2014 and 2017. Myogenic MEPs were obtained through transcranial electrical stimulation. In all cases, surgery was performed under total intravenous anesthesia, maintained with remifentanil and propofol.

RESULTS

MEPs were documented in 24 infants, the sole exception being 1 infant who was lethargic and had 4-limb weakness before surgery. The mean stimulation intensity maintained during monitoring was 596 ± 154 V (range 290–900 V). In 19 of 24 infants MEP signals remained at ≥ 50% of the baseline amplitude throughout the operation. Among 5 cases with a decrease in intraoperative MEP amplitude, the MEP signal was recovered in one during surgery, and in the other case a neurological examination could not be performed after surgery. In the other 3 cases, 2 infants had relevant postoperative weakness and the other did not show postoperative neurological deficits. Postoperative weakness was not observed in any of the 20 infants who had no deterioration (n = 19) or only temporary deterioration (n = 1) in MEP signal during surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Transcranial electrical MEPs could be implemented during neurosurgery in infants between 1 and 3 months of age. Intraoperative MEP monitoring may be a safe adjunct for neurosurgical procedures in these very young patients.