Physiologic identification of eighth nerve subdivisions: Direct recordings with bipolar and monopolar electrodes

Bac H. Nguyen, Eric Javel, Samuel C Levine

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19 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine stimulation and recording parameters that maximize differences in evoked responses recorded between the cochlear nerve and the surrounding tissues. Click-evoked potentials were obtained using monopolar and bipolar recording electrodes placed directly on the exposed eighth nerve of anesthetized cats. Responses were compared as stimulus intensity, electrode location, and bipolar electrode orientation and interelectrode spacing were systematically varied. Wave amplitudes increased monotonically with intensity for both monopolar and bipolar configurations, but bipolar configurations exhibited greater selectivity in differentiating cochlear from vestibular subdivisions. The optimal stimulus intensity was 70 to 80 dB peak sound pressure level (pSPL). Monopolar recordings were often confounded by activity originating at remote sites, typically the cochlear nucleus and (for recording sites on the vestibular nerve) the cochlear nerve. Bipolar response amplitudes increased with interelectrode spacing and were largest when electrodes were oriented parallel to the long axis of the nerve. Extrapolation of empirical data indicated that amplitudes of bipolar responses would be maximal at an electrode separation of 7.5 mm. Cochlear nerve conduction velocity, calculated from wave latencies at each of the two monopolar electrodes, was 11.6 ± 1.6 m/sec.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-534
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999


  • Auditory nerve
  • Evoked potential
  • Intraoperative monitoring


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