Objective: Previous work has shown that differences in the somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) signals between a normal spinal pathway and spinal pathway affected by spinal cord injury (SCI) provide a means to study the degree of injury. This paper proposes a novel quantitative SCI assessment method using time-domain SEP signals. Methods: A pruned and unstructured fit between SEP signals from a normal spinal pathway and a spinal pathway affected by SCI is developed using methods inspired by recent results in sparse reconstruction theory. The coefficients from the resulting fit are used to develop a quantitative assessment of SCI that is tested on actual SEP signals collected from rodents that have been subjected to partial and complete spinal cord transection. Results: The proposed method provides a rich parametric measure that integrates SEP amplitude, time latency, and morphology, while exhibiting a high degree of correlation with existing subjective and quantitative SCI assessment methods. Conclusion: The proposed SCI encapsulates a model of the injury to quantify SCI. Significance: The proposed SCI quantification method may be used to complement existing SCI assessment methods.
- Somatosensory evoked potential (SEP)
- sparse reconstruction
- spinal cord injury (SCI)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering