Effects of temporary arterial occlusion on somatosensory evoked responses in aneurysm surgery

Surg Neurol. 1987 Apr;27(4):343-52. doi: 10.1016/0090-3019(87)90009-7.


Changes in the central conduction time (CCT) during the application of temporary clips were studied in 40 patients who had undergone operations for intracranial aneurysms in relation to postoperative neurological outcome. Ten of these 40 patients (25%) showed postoperative morbidity, although promptly recoverable in 5. None of the patients whose CCTs did not change following temporary occlusion of major vessels showed any postoperative morbidity, except in one case of anterior cerebral artery aneurysm. In 6 patients, temporary vascular occlusion caused a considerable transient prolongation in CCT of up to 10 msec. Two of these 6 patients were associated with postoperative neurological deficit (which was recoverable in 1). The cortical response became flat in 15 patients. Seven of these 15 patients showed hemispheric deficits postoperatively, although recoverable in 4. There was a correlation between the change in the somatosensory evoked response and postoperative outcome. Disappearance of the N20 potential following occlusion is regarded as a danger signal, but postoperative, irrecoverable neurological deficit seems to be unlikely if its disappearance takes more than 3-4 minutes. Even if the cortical response disappears, the clinical outcome is expected to be good if the N20 potential recovers within 20 minutes after recirculation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Basilar Artery
  • Carotid Artery, Internal
  • Cerebral Arteries
  • Constriction
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Male
  • Median Nerve / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction
  • Prognosis