Influence of the montage of stimulation electrodes for intraoperative neuromonitoring during orthopedic spine surgery

Hanneke I. Berends, Henricus L. Journée

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    Purpose: In transcranial electrical stimulation, induced motor evoked potentials (MEPs) are influenced by the montage of stimulation electrodes. Differences are to be examined between coronal and sagittal stimulation. Methods: Forty-five patients with idiopathic scoliosis were included. Coronal and sagittal montages were obtained by electrode placement at C3C4 and Cz'F using large contact electrodes. Corkscrew and short needle electrodes were additionally placed at C3C4 in five patients. Voltage motor thresholds (MTvoltage) and MEP amplitudes at 2 times MTvoltage (MEP2MTvoltage) were obtained of upper and lower extremity muscles. Differences of MTvoltage and MEP2MTvoltage at Cz'F and C3C4 and between electrodes were analyzed. Results: MEP2MTvoltage benefits from coronal positioning. Correlations between MTvoltage and impedance were not significant for large electrodes at Cz'F, very low for C3C4, and high for short needles or corkscrew electrodes. MTvoltage of short needles and corkscrews was up to 200% higher compared with MTvoltage of long needles. MTcurrent is increased by 20% to 30% and 2% to 10% for the arm and leg muscles, respectively. Conclusions: Biphasic stimulation at C3C4 is advised when constant voltage stimulation is used to monitor the spinal cord during orthopedic spine surgery. MTvoltage of corkscrew and small needle electrodes are highly sensitive to electrode impedances.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)419-425
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Electrode montage
    • Intraoperative neuromonitoring
    • TES
    • TESMEP
    • TcMEP
    • Threshold
    • Transcranial electrical stimulation

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