The objectives of this study were to evaluate the use of brain stem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) in 10 adult patients wiht vascular disorders of the posterior circulation that were treated surgically and to compare the BAEPs with the neurological findings. The vascular lesions included basilar artery stenosis in 3 patients, vertebral artery stenosis in 1 patient, brain stem/cerebellar arteriovenous malformation in 2 patients, and basilar artery aneurysm in 4 patients. Measurement of BAEPs were carried out during operation in all cases. Eight patients had BAEPs measured before operation, and 9 patients had BAEPs measured after operation. Repeat postoperative studies were performed in patients with changes in neurological status. In general, BAEP abnormalities correlated with the neurological findings before and after operation. Six patients had normal intraoperative studies. None of them had clinical findings of pontomesencephalic dysfunction after operation. Three patients with significant BAEP abnormalities during operation had neurological findings of pontomedullary ischemia after operation. Transient BAEP changes in 1 patient were thought to be the result of brain stem retraction. The BAEPs were lost in 3 patients who died. The use of BAEP measurement did not lengthen the operative procedures. However, the technique used in this study required 4 to 8 minutes for the accumulation and interpretation of each average, thereby delaying feedback to the surgeon. The results of this study suggest a potential role for BAEP monitoring in identifying brain stem injury during posterior circulation surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology