Somatosensory evoked potentials in the evaluation of lumbosacral radiculopathy

David Walk, Morris A. Fisher, Stephen H. Doundoulakis, Masoud Hemmati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

We performed lower extremity somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) studies in 59 patients with signs or symptoms suggestive of lumbosacral radiculopathy and compared them with results of myelography with postmyelogram CT (myelogram/CT), MRI, and other electrodiagnostic studies. Of 38 patients with abnormal myelogram/CTs, 32 had abnormal SEPs, while 11 demonstrated EMG abnormalities. All 21 patients with normal myelogram/CTs had normal SEPs. SEP improved electrodiagnostic sensitivity in patients with weakness or reflex changes as well as in those with sensory deficits only. SEP was less sensitive in patients in whom spinal stenosis was the only radiographic finding. MRI generally corresponded well with the results of myelogram/CT and SEP but overestimated the significance of disk bulges in some patients. SEP is useful in the electrodiagnostic evaluation of lumbosacral radiculopathy, particularly when EMG is nondiagnostic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1202
Number of pages6
JournalNeurology
Volume42
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1992

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