Effect of stimulus intensity on subcortical and cortical somatosensory evoked potentials by posterior tibial nerve stimulation

Sadatoshi Tsuji, Hans Lüders, Dudley S. Dinner, Ronald P. Lesser, George Klem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The effect of stimulus intensity on subcortical and cortical somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to posterior tibial nerve (PTN) stimulation were studied in 16 normal controls. Stimulus intensity was evaluated as a function of sensory threshold (S). Motor threshold (M) varied between 1 S and 2 S. The amplitude of N18 (afferent volley immediately before it enters the spinal canal) increased approximately linearly up to at least 4.5 S. N20 (dorsal cord potential) also demonstrated a linear increase up to at least 4 S but the rate of increase was significantly smaller. All central components (subcortical brain-stem components P27 and N30, and cortical components N1 and P2) showed an even smaller rate of increase which was non-linear and reached a plateau at 3 S. The relatively higher rate of increase of N18 as compared with N20 was most probably due to the recording of sensory impulses plus antidromic impulses in motor fibers. The smaller rate of increase and early saturation of all the central components compared with N20 suggests that all the afferent fibers generating N20 only the low threshold fibers participate in the generation of more central components. Stimulus intensities of 3 S are recommended for clinical studies of the central SEPs to PTN stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology/ Evoked Potentials
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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