Xiao-Dong Wu, Yu Zhu, Wen-Jun Chen, Xiang Jin, Nicholas Tsai, Huang-Yuan Huang, Jian-Yuan Jiang, Dong-Qing Zhu, Pei-Ying Li, Robert Weber, Wen Yuan, Hua-Jiang Chen

September 2011, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 1613 - 1619 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-011-1768-8

First Online: 10 May 2011

The objective of this study was to detect cerebral potentials elicited by proximal stimulation of the first sacral (S1) nerve root at the S1 dorsal foramen and to investigate latency and amplitude of the first cerebral potential. Tibial nerve SEP and S1 nerve root SEP were obtained from 20 healthy subjects and 5 patients with unilateral sciatic nerve or tibial nerve injury. Stimulation of the S1 nerve root was performed by a needle electrode via the S1 dorsal foramen. Cerebral potentials were recorded twice to document reproducibility. Latencies and amplitudes of the first cerebral potentials were recorded. Reproducible cerebral evoked potentials were recorded and P20s were identified in 36 of 40 limbs in the healthy subjects. The mean latency of P20 was 19.8 ± 1.6 ms. The mean amplitude of P20–N30 was 1.2 ± 0.9 μV. In the five patients, P40 of tibial nerve SEP was absent, while well-defined cerebral potentials of S1 nerve root SEP were recorded and P20 was identified from the involved side. This method may be useful in detecting S1 nerve root lesion and other disorders affecting the proximal portions of somatosensory pathway. Combined with tibial nerve SEP, it may provide useful information for diagnosis of lesions affecting the peripheral nerve versus the central portion of somatosensory pathway.

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