Posterior tibial and sural nerve somatosensory evoked potentials: a study in spastic paraparesis and spinal cord lesions

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1993 Dec;89(6):437-41. doi: 10.1016/0168-5597(93)90118-9.


In two groups of patients posterior tibial nerve (PTN) and sural nerve (SN) somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) were compared to each other and related to classified neurological signs. Group A consisted of 7 patients with hereditary spastic paraparesis (HSP) and 8 with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), with solely or primarily motor deficits. Group B consisted of 12 patients with different spinal cord diseases causing variable mixed sensory and motor impairments. Normal values were derived from 39 controls. A clear trend towards more frequently prolonged PTN SEP than SN SEP latencies was found in both groups and appears to make PTN SEPs more useful for clinical application than SN SEPs. No significant differences were found in SEP abnormalities when the two patient groups were compared to each other. No relationships were found between SEP abnormalities and spasticity, weakness or any single sensory modality, making the two SEPs questionable as a quantitative test for neurological deficits in our patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Sural Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Tibial Nerve / physiopathology*