The effect of neuromuscular blockade on pedicle screw stimulation thresholds

Robert E. Minahan, Lee H. Riley, Tamara Lukaczyk, David B. Cohen, John P. Kostuik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Study Design: Nerve root stimulation thresholds were studied relative to the level of neuromuscular blockade in patients undergoing lumbar decompression surgery. Objectives: To determine what levels of intraoperative neuromuscular blockade can be used during pedicle screw stimulation. Background Data: Previous studies of intraoperative pedicle screw stimulation thresholds have failed to determine the effect of neuromuscular blockade on the stimulation threshold. Methods: Twenty-one roots in 10 patients undergoing lumbar decompression surgery were studied at different levels of neuromuscular blockade. Ninety-five nerve root thresholds were determined relative to level of blockade. Results: Neuromuscular blockade below 80% provides nerve root thresholds similar to thresholds without blockade. Conclusions: Neuromuscular blockade should be less than 80% when using pedicle screw electrical stimulation testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2526-2530
Number of pages5
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2000


  • Intraoperative monitoring
  • Neuromuscular blockade
  • Pedicle screws
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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