Evoked potential monitoring during posterior fossa aneurysm surgery: a comparison of two modalities

Can J Anaesth. 1994 Feb;41(2):92-7. doi: 10.1007/BF03009798.


The purpose of this study was to compare and assess the ability of two different evoked potential (EP) modalities, median nerve somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) and brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP) in monitoring for cerebral ischaemia and in predicting neurological outcome during posterior fossa aneurysm surgery. During 70 procedures, patients were monitored with both SSEP and BAEP. Temporary occlusion of an artery was used in 52 patients and permanent occlusion in 21 patients. A change was defined as a greater than 50% decrease in amplitude and/or an increase in latency greater than 1 msec of the N20 (cortical waveform) for SSEP monitoring and of the fifth peak for BAEP monitoring. Neurological assessment of the patient was performed immediately on emergence, after 24 hr and at the time of discharge. In total, 14 patients had an SSEP change which predicted a neurological deficit in eight patients (57%). Ten patients had a change in BAEP; six had a neurological deficit (60%). Five patients had a change in both, two had a deficit (40%). The incidence of false negative results (a neurological deficit but no EP change) for both modalities was 20% (SSEP 47%, BAEP 60%). The incidence of false positive results (an EP change but no deficit) was 13% overall (SSEP 11%, BAEP 7%). All patients who had a permanent EP change developed a neurological deficit. We did not find a difference in the ability of SSEP compared with BAEP in predicting neurological deficits but, using both modalities, the incidence of false negative results was decreased.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm / surgery
  • Basilar Artery / surgery
  • Brain Ischemia / prevention & control*
  • Brain Stem / physiopathology
  • Cerebellum / blood supply
  • Constriction
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hemiplegia / etiology
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Male
  • Median Nerve / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Reaction Time
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vertebral Artery / surgery