CO2 laser-induced pain-related somatosensory evoked potentials in peripheral neuropathies: correlation between electrophysiological and histopathological findings

Muscle Nerve. 1991 May;14(5):441-50. doi: 10.1002/mus.880140510.


Pain-related somatosensory evoked potentials (pain SEPs) following CO2 laser stimulation as well as conventional electrically stimulated SEPs (electric SEPs) were examined in 10 patients with peripheral neuropathies in whom the histopathological examination of the sural nerve was done. Results of pain SEPs showed a positive relationship with clinical impairment of pain sensation and densities of small myelinated fibers of the sural nerve. In contrast, results of electric SEPs showed a positive relationship with clinical impairment of deep and tactile sensations and with densities of large myelinated fibers of the sural nerve. Therefore, pain SEPs are considered to be generated by ascending signals mediated through nociceptive receptors and A delta fibers. The pain SEP is only one noninvasive and objective method currently available to investigate a physiological condition of the sensory pathway responsible for pain sense, and is especially useful when combined with the conventional electric SEPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electrophysiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Sural Nerve / physiopathology