Incidence of intraoperative seizures during motor evoked potential monitoring in a large cohort of patients undergoing different surgical procedures

Sedat Ulkatan, Ana Maria Jaramillo, Maria J. Téllez, Jinu Kim, Vedran Deletis, Kathleen Seidel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence of seizures during the intraoperative monitoring of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by electrical brain stimulation in a wide spectrum of surgeries such as those of the orthopedic spine, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, interventional radiology procedures, and craniotomies for supra- and infratentorial tumors and vascular lesions. METHODS: The authors retrospectively analyzed data from 4179 consecutive patients who underwent surgery or an interventional radiology procedure with MEP monitoring. RESULTS: Of 4179 patients, only 32 (0.8%) had 1 or more intraoperative seizures. The incidence of seizures in cranial procedures, including craniotomies and interventional neuroradiology, was 1.8%. In craniotomies in which transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) was applied to elicit MEPs, the incidence of seizures was 0.7% (6/850). When direct cortical stimulation was additionally applied, the incidence of seizures increased to 5.4% (23/422). Patients undergoing craniotomies for the excision of extraaxial brain tumors, particularly meningiomas (15 patients), exhibited the highest risk of developing an intraoperative seizure (16 patients). The incidence of seizures in orthopedic spine surgeries was 0.2% (3/1664). None of the patients who underwent surgery for conditions of the spinal cord, neck, or peripheral nerves or who underwent cranial or noncranial interventional radiology procedures had intraoperative seizures elicited by TES during MEP monitoring. CONCLUSIONS: In this largest such study to date, the authors report the incidence of intraoperative seizures in patients who underwent MEP monitoring during a wide spectrum of surgeries such as those of the orthopedic spine, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, interventional radiology procedures, and craniotomies for supra- and infratentorial tumors and vascular lesions. The low incidence of seizures induced by electrical brain stimulation, particularly short-train TES, demonstrates that MEP monitoring is a safe technique that should not be avoided due to the risk of inducing seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1302
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Volume126
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Intraoperative monitoring
  • MEP
  • Seizure
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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