What is the role of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) in the diagnosis of cervical myelopathy?

Updated: Aug 20, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

MEP recordings from thenar and tibialis anterior muscles appear to be especially sensitive (84-100%) in the detection of cervical myelopathy. MEP studies can indicate whether lesions identified on anatomic computed tomography (CT) scanning or MRI studies have neurophysiologic significance.

MEP studies may be more sensitive than SEPs in the detection of cervical myelopathy, possibly because cervical spondylosis (often with prominent bony spurs projecting from the vertebral body) predominantly involves the anterolateral quadrant of the spinal cord. This potentially could affect descending motor tracts in the corticospinal tract, leaving dorsal column pathways relatively unaffected. [11]


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