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Tammam Abboud, Cindy Schwarz, Manfred Westphal and Tobias Martens

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to compare sensitivity and specificity between the novel threshold and amplitude criteria for motor evoked potentials (MEPs) monitoring after transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) during surgery for supratentorial lesions in the same patient cohort.

METHODS

One hundred twenty-six patients were included. All procedures were performed under general anesthesia. Craniotomies did not expose motor cortex, so that direct mapping was less suitable. After TES, MEPs were recorded bilaterally from abductor pollicis brevis (APB), from orbicularis oris (OO), and/or from tibialis anterior (TA). The percentage increase in the threshold level was assessed and considered significant if it exceeded by more than 20% on the affected side the percentage increase on the unaffected side. Amplitude on the affected side was measured with a stimulus intensity of 150% of the threshold level set for each muscle.

RESULTS

Eighteen of 126 patients showed a significant change in the threshold level as well as an amplitude reduction of more than 50% in MEPs recorded from APB, and 15 of the patients had postoperative deterioration of motor function of the arm (temporary in 8 cases and permanent in 7 [true-positive and false-negative results]). Recording from TA was performed in 66 patients; 4 developed postoperative deterioration of motor function of the leg (temporary in 3 cases and permanent in 1), and showed a significant change in the threshold level, and an amplitude reduction of more than 50% occurred in 1 patient. An amplitude reduction of more than 50% occurred in another 10 patients, without a significant change in the threshold level or postoperative deterioration. Recording from OO was performed in 61 patients; 3 developed postoperative deterioration of motor function of facial muscles (temporary in 2 cases and permanent in 1) and had a significant change in the threshold level, and 2 of the patients had an amplitude reduction of more than 50%. Another 6 patients had an amplitude reduction of more than 50% but no significant change in the threshold level or postoperative deterioration.

Sensitivity of the threshold criterion was 100% when MEPs were recorded from APB, OO, or TA, and its specificity was 97%, 100%, and 100%, respectively. Sensitivity of the amplitude criterion was 100%, 67%, and 25%, with a specificity of 97%, 90%, and 84%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The threshold criterion was comparable to the amplitude criterion with a stimulus intensity set at 150% of the threshold level regarding sensitivity and specificity when recording MEPs from APB, and superior to it when recording from TA or OO.

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Jose L. Sanmillan, Gerard Plans, Andreu Gabarrós and Isabel Fernández-Conejero

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Tammam Abboud, Miriam Schaper, Lasse Dührsen, Cindy Schwarz, Nils Ole Schmidt, Manfred Westphal and Tobias Martens

OBJECTIVE

Warning criteria for monitoring of motor evoked potentials (MEP) after direct cortical stimulation during surgery for supratentorial tumors have been well described. However, little is known about the value of MEP after transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) in predicting postoperative motor deficit when monitoring threshold level. The authors aimed to evaluate the feasibility and value of this method in glioma surgery by using a new approach for interpreting changes in threshold level involving contra- and ipsilateral MEP.

METHODS

Between November 2013 and December 2014, 93 patients underwent TES-MEP monitoring during resection of gliomas located close to central motor pathways but not involving the primary motor cortex. The MEP were elicited by transcranial repetitive anodal train stimulation. Bilateral MEP were continuously evaluated to assess percentage increase of threshold level (minimum voltage needed to evoke a stable motor response from each of the muscles being monitored) from the baseline set before dural opening. An increase in threshold level on the contralateral side (facial, arm, or leg muscles contralateral to the affected hemisphere) of more than 20% beyond the percentage increase on the ipsilateral side (facial, arm, or leg muscles ipsilateral to the affected hemisphere) was considered a significant alteration. Recorded alterations were subsequently correlated with postoperative neurological deterioration and MRI findings.

RESULTS

TES-MEP could be elicited in all patients, including those with recurrent glioma (31 patients) and preoperative paresis (20 patients). Five of 73 patients without preoperative paresis showed a significant increase in threshold level, and all of them developed new paresis postoperatively (transient in 4 patients and permanent in 1 patient). Eight of 20 patients with preoperative paresis showed a significant increase in threshold level, and all of them developed postoperative neurological deterioration (transient in 4 patients and permanent in 4 patients). In 80 patients no significant change in threshold level was detected, and none of them showed postoperative neurological deterioration. The specificity and sensitivity in this series were estimated at 100%. Postoperative MRI revealed gross-total tumor resection in 56 of 82 patients (68%) in whom complete tumor resection was attainable; territorial ischemia was detected in 4 patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The novel threshold criterion has made TES-MEP a useful method for predicting postoperative motor deficit in patients who undergo glioma surgery, and has been feasible in patients with preoperative paresis as well as in patients with recurrent glioma. Including contra- and ipsilateral changes in threshold level has led to a high sensitivity and specificity.

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Klaus Christian Mende, Mathias Gelderblom, Cindy Schwarz, Patrick Czorlich, Nils Ole Schmidt, Eik Vettorazzi, Jan Regelsberger, Manfred Westphal and Tammam Abboud

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the value of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) in predicting outcome in patients with high-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

METHODS

Between January 2013 and January 2015, 48 patients with high-grade SAH (Hunt and Hess Grade III, IV, or V) who were admitted within 3 days after hemorrhage were enrolled in the study. Right and left median and tibial nerve SEPs were recorded on Day 3 after hemorrhage and recorded again 2 weeks later. Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores were determined 6 months after hemorrhage and dichotomized as poor (Scores 1–3) or good (Scores 4–5). Results of SEP measurements were dichotomized (present or missing cortical responses or normal or prolonged latencies) for each nerve and side. These variables were summed and tested using logistic regression and a receiver operating characteristic curve to assess the value of SEPs in predicting long-term outcome.

RESULTS

At the 6-month follow-up visit, 29 (60.4%) patients had a good outcome, and 19 (39.6%) had a poor outcome. The first SEP measurement did not correlate with clinical outcome (area under the curve [AUC] 0.69, p = 0.52). At the second measurement of median nerve SEPs, all patients with a good outcome had cortical responses present bilaterally, and none of them had bilateral prolonged latencies (p = 0.014 and 0.003, respectively). In tibial nerve SEPs, 7.7% of the patients with a good GOS score had one or more missing cortical responses, and bilateral prolonged latencies were found in 23% (p = 0.001 and 0.034, respectively). The second measurement correlated with the outcome regarding each of the median and tibial nerve SEPs and the combination of both (AUC 0.75 [p = 0.010], 0.793 [p = 0.003], and 0.81 [p = 0.001], respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Early SEP measurement after SAH did not correlate with clinical outcome, but measurement of median and tibial nerve SEPs 2 weeks after a hemorrhage did predict long-term outcome in patients with high-grade SAH.