Comparison of scalp distribution of short latency somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) to stimulation of different nerves in the lower extremity

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1988 Nov-Dec;71(6):422-8. doi: 10.1016/0168-5597(88)90046-9.


SSEPs to stimulation of the CPN at the knee and PTN, PN and SN at the ankle were recorded from 15 cephalic sites and compared in 8 normal subjects. The configuration, amplitude, peak latency and distribution of P27, N35 (CPN) and P37, N45 (PTN, PN and SN) were analyzed. The configuration and distribution of SSEPs to stimulation of the 3 nerves at the ankle were similar across subjects. Both P37 and N45 were greatest in amplitude at the vertex and at recording sites ipsilateral to the side of stimulation. At contralateral sites either negative (N37) or negative, positive, negative potentials were recorded. The peak latency of N37 was the same or slightly less than that of P37. CPN-SSEPs were lower in amplitude and their configuration and scalp distribution showed much greater intersubject variability. This suggests that complex mechanisms which variably interact with one another are reflected in scalp SSEPs to CPN stimulation at the knee. The larger amplitude plus the minimal intersubject variability in morphology and topography of PTN-SSEPs indicate that this nerve is the most suitable for routine clinical use.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography* / methods
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / innervation
  • Leg / physiology
  • Male
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Peroneal Nerve / physiology
  • Scalp
  • Sural Nerve / physiology
  • Tibial Nerve / physiology