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To evaluate whether spinal cord intraoperative monitoring (IOM) with somatosensory and transcranial electrical motor evoked potentials (EPs) predicts adverse surgical outcomes.A panel of experts reviewed the results of a comprehensive literature search and identified published studies relevant to the clinical question. These studies were classified according to the evidence-based methodology of the American Academy of Neurology. Objective outcomes of postoperative onset of paraparesis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia were used because no randomized or masked studies were available.Four Class I and 8 Class II studies met inclusion criteria for analysis. The 4 Class I studies and 7 of the 8 Class II studies reached significance in showing that paraparesis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia occurred in the IOM patients with EP changes compared with the IOM group without EP changes. All studies were consistent in showing all occurrences of paraparesis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia in the IOM patients with EP changes, with no occurrences of paraparesis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia in patients without EP changes. In the Class I studies, 16%-40% of the IOM patients with EP changes developed postoperative-onset paraparesis, paraplegia, or quadriplegia. IOM is established as effective to predict an increased risk of the adverse outcomes of paraparesis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia in spinal surgery (4 Class I and 7 Class II studies). Surgeons and other members of the operating team should be alerted to the increased risk of severe adverse neurologic outcomes in patients with important IOM changes (Level A).
View details for DOI 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318247fa0e
View details for Web of Science ID 000300638800017
View details for PubMedID 22351796