✓ Olfactory evoked potentials (OEPs), obtained by electrical stimulation of the olfactory mucosa, were recorded in dogs and humans to develop an objective method for evaluating olfactory functions.
In dogs, OEPs were recorded from the olfactory tract and the scalp. The latency of the first negative peak was approximately 40 msec. A response was not obtained after stimulation of the nasal mucosa and disappeared after sectioning of the olfactory nerve. With increasing frequencies of repetitive stimulation, the amplitude was reduced, suggesting that the response was synaptically mediated. These results demonstrate that evoked potentials from the olfactory tract and the scalp following electrical stimulation of the olfactory mucosa originate specifically from the olfactory system.
In humans, a stimulating electrode with a soft catheter was fixed on the olfactory mucosa. The OEPs from the olfactory tract, recorded with a negative peak of approximately 27 msec, had similar characteristics to OEPs found in dogs. The OEPs from the olfactory tract in humans also originate specifically from the olfactory system. The authors postulate that OEPs obtained by electrical stimulation of the olfactory mucosa may prove useful for intraoperative monitoring of olfactory functions.