Dermatomal/segmental somatosensory evoked potential evaluation of L5/S1 unilateral/unilevel radiculopathies

Daniel Dumitru, Paul Dreyfuss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dermatomal and segmental somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) have been reported to be of diagnostic utility in unilateral/unilevel L5 and S1 radiculopathies. This investigation employs history, physical examination, imaging studies, and electrodiagnostic medicine evaluations to clearly define unilateral/unilevel L5 or S1 nerve root compromise. Inclusion criteria require all of the preceding diagnostic methods to corroborate a specific nerve root lesion. Regression equation analysis for cortical P1 latencies evaluating age and height based on comparable patient and control reference populations reveals segmental and dermatomal sensitivities for L5 radiculopathies to be 70% and 50%, respectively, at 90% confidence intervals. Similar sensitivities are obtained for 2 standard deviation mean cortical P1 latencies. Side-to-side cortical P1 latency difference data reveal segmental and dermatomal sensitivities for L5 radiculopathies to be 40% at 2 standard deviations. Regression equation analysis for age and height regarding segmental and dermatomal studies for S1 radiculopathies reveal sensitivities of 30% and 20%, respectively, at 90% confidence intervals. Similar data are delineated for 2 standard deviation mean cortical P1 latencies. Side-to-side cortical P1 latency difference data reveal segmental and dermatomal sensitivities for S1 radiculopathies to be 50% and 10%, respectively, at two standard deviations. The clinical utility of both segmental and dermatomal SEPs are questionable in patients with known unilateral/unilevel L5 and S1 nerve root compromise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-449
Number of pages8
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1996

Keywords

  • dermatomal SEPs
  • electromyography
  • lumbosacral radiculopathy
  • segmental SEPs
  • somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)

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