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Lumbar spinal stenosis: assessment of cauda equina involvement by electrophysiological recordings


Egli, D; Hausmann, O; Schmid, M; Boos, N; Dietz, V; Curt, A (2007). Lumbar spinal stenosis: assessment of cauda equina involvement by electrophysiological recordings. Journal of Neurology, 254(6):741-750.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between electrophysiological recordings and clinical as well as radiological findings in patients suggestive to suffer from a lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). We hypothesise that the electrophysiological recordings, especially SSEP, indicate a lumbar nerve involvement that is complementary to the neurological examination and can provide confirmatory information in less obvious clinical cases. In a prospective cohort study, 54 patients scheduled for surgery due to LSS were enrolled in an unmasked, uncontrolled trial. All patients were assessed by neurological examination, electrophysiological recordings, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lumbar spine. The electrophysiological recordings focused on spinal lumbar nerve involvement. Results: About 88% suffered from a multisegmental LSS and 91% of patients respectively complained of chronic lower back pain and/or leg pain for more than 3 months, combined with a restriction in walking distance. The neurological examination revealed only a few patients with sensory and/or motor deficits while 87% of patients showed pathological electrophysiological recordings (abnormal tibial SSEP in 78% of patients, abnormal H-reflex in 52% of patients). Conclusions: Whereas the clinical examination, even in severe LSS, showed no specific sensory-motor deficit, the electrophysiological recordings indicated that the majority of patients had a neurogenic disorder within the lumbar spine. By the pattern of bilateral pathological tibial SSEP and pathological reflexes associated with normal peripheral nerve conduction, LSS can be separated from a demyelinating polyneuropathy and mono-radiculopathy. The applied electrophysiological recordings, especially SSEP, can confirm a neurogenic claudication due to cauda equina involvement and help to differentiate neurogenic from vascular claudication or musculo-skeletal disorders of the lower limbs. Therefore, electro-physiological recordings provide additional information to the neurological examination when the clinical relevance of a radiologically-suspected LSS needs to be confirmed

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between electrophysiological recordings and clinical as well as radiological findings in patients suggestive to suffer from a lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). We hypothesise that the electrophysiological recordings, especially SSEP, indicate a lumbar nerve involvement that is complementary to the neurological examination and can provide confirmatory information in less obvious clinical cases. In a prospective cohort study, 54 patients scheduled for surgery due to LSS were enrolled in an unmasked, uncontrolled trial. All patients were assessed by neurological examination, electrophysiological recordings, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lumbar spine. The electrophysiological recordings focused on spinal lumbar nerve involvement. Results: About 88% suffered from a multisegmental LSS and 91% of patients respectively complained of chronic lower back pain and/or leg pain for more than 3 months, combined with a restriction in walking distance. The neurological examination revealed only a few patients with sensory and/or motor deficits while 87% of patients showed pathological electrophysiological recordings (abnormal tibial SSEP in 78% of patients, abnormal H-reflex in 52% of patients). Conclusions: Whereas the clinical examination, even in severe LSS, showed no specific sensory-motor deficit, the electrophysiological recordings indicated that the majority of patients had a neurogenic disorder within the lumbar spine. By the pattern of bilateral pathological tibial SSEP and pathological reflexes associated with normal peripheral nerve conduction, LSS can be separated from a demyelinating polyneuropathy and mono-radiculopathy. The applied electrophysiological recordings, especially SSEP, can confirm a neurogenic claudication due to cauda equina involvement and help to differentiate neurogenic from vascular claudication or musculo-skeletal disorders of the lower limbs. Therefore, electro-physiological recordings provide additional information to the neurological examination when the clinical relevance of a radiologically-suspected LSS needs to be confirmed

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Language:English
Date:1 June 2007
Deposited On:17 Dec 2018 17:23
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 02:45
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-5354
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-006-0427-1
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencespringer101007s0041500604271 (Library Catalogue)
PubMed ID:17426910

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