COMMON TESTS

...individualizes each test specific to your surgery. These tests allow us to monitor your nerve responses and facilitate real-time feedback.

Our Team...

Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEP)

Structures Monitored: The posterior sensory pathways of the spinal cord starting from the ends of the limbs, running up the spine and to the brain.

Surgeries Used On: Spinal, Cranial, Peripheral, Vascular

How the Test is Performed: Small amounts of current are applied at the patient's wrists and ankles using small sticky electrodes. This causes the nerves to send electrical impulses along the sensory pathway all the way to the brain. Subdermal electrodes are placed under the skin along this nerve pathway to record the size of the impulse and how long it takes the impulse to travel. Finally, the impulse is recorded by electrodes at its final destination: the outer, top portion of the brain or the cortex.

Transcranial Electric Motor Evoked Potentials (TceMEP)

Structures Monitored: The anterior motor pathway of the spinal cord starting at the brain, running down the spinal cord and out to the muscles of the arms and legs.

Surgeries Used On: Spinal, Vascular 

How the Test is Performed: Electrodes are placed on the top of the patient’s head to issue small amounts of current that travel down the spinal cord and continue to the hands and the feet, causing muscles to contract. Other electrodes are also placed on appropriate muscle groups in the arms or legs to read and record the electrical impulses and muscle reactions.

Train of Four (TOF)

Structures Monitored: This test assesses how much muscle relaxant a patient has in their system, and helps to determine when the muscle relaxant has worn off.

Surgeries Used On: Any procedure in which the IOM technologist needs to read the patient's muscle activity in order to provide the surgeon with accurate information.

How the Test is Performed: Muscle activity is read and recorded by issuing a current through a subdermal electrode placed on one of the patient’s nerves, causing a muscle contraction. 

Electromyography (EMG)

Structures Monitored: Any muscle group that is innervated by at-risk nerve roots.

 

Surgeries Used On: Spine, ENT, Cranial, Vascular

 

How the Test is Performed: Electrodes are placed on appropriate muscles to record all muscle activity in a patient.

Triggered Electromyography (tEMG)

Structures Monitored: Any muscle group that is innervated by at-risk nerve roots.

 

Surgeries Used On: Spine, ENT, Cranial

 

How the Test is Performed: Electric current is used to stimulate the patient’s nerves so that responses can be recorded in the muscles. This ultimately assists in the placement of screws during spine surgery, helping to identify nerve roots, and testing nerve functionality. 

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Structures Monitored: Brain Activity

Surgeries Used On: Spinal, Cranial, Vascular

How the Test is Performed: Recording electrodes are placed in various locations on the patient’s scalp to record the brain’s electrical activity and help identify changes in brain activity.

Visual Evoked Potential (VEP)

Structures Monitored: Optic Pathway/Optic Nerve

Surgeries Used On: Various neurosurgical procedures

How the Test is Performed: Several electrodes are placed on the occipital lobe at the back of the patient’s head. A flash of a pattern stimulates the eyes and sends an impulse along the optic nerve, which is then recorded by the electrodes.

Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER)

Structures Monitored: The auditory pathway beginning at the outer ear, through the inner ear, up the brainstem and then recorded at the cortex.

Surgeries Used On: Cranial, ENT

How the Test is Performed: Using an audible click through an earphone or speaker, an impulse travels through the patient’s ear, up the brainstem and on to the outer part of the brain where it is recorded by electrodes that are placed on the scalp. This test allows the physician to stimulate and identify the nerve responsible for hearing in the auditory pathway.

Cortical Mapping and Language Mapping

Structures Monitored: Cortical mapping allows the physician to identify specific areas of the brain (language, motor cortex, sensory cortex) by stimulating the brain with an electric current and observing the body's response.

Surgeries Used On: Cranial

How the Test is Performed: The physician stimulates certain areas of the patient’s brain and records limb muscle activity or patient language responses. The responses indicate which area of the brain was stimulated, and allow the physician to label the area accurately

Phase Reversal

Structures Monitored: Motor Cortex, Sensory Cortex and the Central Gyrus.

Surgeries Used On: Any cranial case where it is necessary for the physician to identify the location of the Central Gyrus.

How the Test is Performed: A grid strip with eight holes is placed along the patient’s brain in a front to back position over the motor cortex and the sensory cortex. While the physician uses a probe to stimulate the brain in each of the holes located along the grid strip, the IOM technologist observes the responses and records the results.

TO CONTACT US OR SCHEDULE IOM SERVICES, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL US:

Tel: 210.598.2800

Toll Free: 877.934.2333

Fax: 210.566.1330

Email: info@nationalneuro.net

Scheduling: 210.269.7108

3502 Paesanos Parkway

Suite 100
San Antonio, Texas 78231

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