Effect of stimulus intensity on spine recorded somatosensory evoked potential in dogs

Francesca Cozzi From the Departments of Small Animal Surgery (Cozzi, Poncelet, Balligand) and Statistics and Genetics (Michaux), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liége, B-4000 Liége, Sart-Tilman, Belgium.

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Luc Poncelet From the Departments of Small Animal Surgery (Cozzi, Poncelet, Balligand) and Statistics and Genetics (Michaux), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liége, B-4000 Liége, Sart-Tilman, Belgium.

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Charles Michaux From the Departments of Small Animal Surgery (Cozzi, Poncelet, Balligand) and Statistics and Genetics (Michaux), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liége, B-4000 Liége, Sart-Tilman, Belgium.

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Marc Balligand From the Departments of Small Animal Surgery (Cozzi, Poncelet, Balligand) and Statistics and Genetics (Michaux), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liége, B-4000 Liége, Sart-Tilman, Belgium.

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SUMMARY

Objective

To investigate the effect of stimulus intensity on the characteristics of the spine recorded somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) in dogs.

Animals

11 healthy Beagles, 1 to 2 years old.

Design and Procedure

In 10 dogs, square-wave stimuli (0.1-ms duration, 4 Hz) were delivered through needle electrodes inserted close to the right tibial nerve at the tibiotarsal joint. A standard stimulus strength (reference effective stimulus [RS]) was established for each dog by determining the stimulus necessary to induce a maximal M wave (muscle evoked potential) in the plantar interosseus muscles. The polarity of the stimulating electrodes was then reversed, and an SEP was recorded at the level of the T13-L1 interarcuate ligament. Subsequently, stimuli at fractions (¼X, ½X) and multiples (2X, 4X) of RS were delivered. Recordings, using 10X RS stimuli, also were obtained in 2 dogs; in 1 of them, the recordings were obtained before and after curarization. In each instance, the latencies and the amplitudes of the first 3 reproducible deflections were measured and evaluated.

Results

The SEP waveform recorded at the T13-L1 level using RS was similar in all dogs; at least 3 deflections were recognized. Altering stimulus intensity did not significantly change latency of the first 3 peaks; conversely, amplitudes of the first 3 peaks increased (P < 0.01) when the stimulus intensity was increased from ¼X RS to 1X RS. Stimulation at 10X RS induced the recording of a large potential, which was suppressed by the curarization.

Conclusion

Only slight variations affect latency data through a wide range of stimulus intensities; latency measurement can be considered a robust tool in the vicinity of RS. Slight variations in the electrode position during an SEP session should not invalidate the results. Differences in the definition of the stimulus intensity among laboratories should not preclude the comparison of the results. (Am J Vet Res 1998; 59:217–220)

SUMMARY

Objective

To investigate the effect of stimulus intensity on the characteristics of the spine recorded somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) in dogs.

Animals

11 healthy Beagles, 1 to 2 years old.

Design and Procedure

In 10 dogs, square-wave stimuli (0.1-ms duration, 4 Hz) were delivered through needle electrodes inserted close to the right tibial nerve at the tibiotarsal joint. A standard stimulus strength (reference effective stimulus [RS]) was established for each dog by determining the stimulus necessary to induce a maximal M wave (muscle evoked potential) in the plantar interosseus muscles. The polarity of the stimulating electrodes was then reversed, and an SEP was recorded at the level of the T13-L1 interarcuate ligament. Subsequently, stimuli at fractions (¼X, ½X) and multiples (2X, 4X) of RS were delivered. Recordings, using 10X RS stimuli, also were obtained in 2 dogs; in 1 of them, the recordings were obtained before and after curarization. In each instance, the latencies and the amplitudes of the first 3 reproducible deflections were measured and evaluated.

Results

The SEP waveform recorded at the T13-L1 level using RS was similar in all dogs; at least 3 deflections were recognized. Altering stimulus intensity did not significantly change latency of the first 3 peaks; conversely, amplitudes of the first 3 peaks increased (P < 0.01) when the stimulus intensity was increased from ¼X RS to 1X RS. Stimulation at 10X RS induced the recording of a large potential, which was suppressed by the curarization.

Conclusion

Only slight variations affect latency data through a wide range of stimulus intensities; latency measurement can be considered a robust tool in the vicinity of RS. Slight variations in the electrode position during an SEP session should not invalidate the results. Differences in the definition of the stimulus intensity among laboratories should not preclude the comparison of the results. (Am J Vet Res 1998; 59:217–220)

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