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Somatosensory evoked potentials and magnetic resonance imaging of the central nervous system in early multiple sclerosis.

J Neurol. 2022 Oct 7. doi: 10.1007/s00415-022-11407-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36205793.

Authors/Editors: Wuschek A, Bussas M, El Husseini M, Harabacz L, Pineker V, Pongratz V, Berthele A, Riederer I, Zimmer C, Hemmer B, Kirschke JS, Mühlau M.
Publication Date: 2022

Abstract

Until magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) entered clinical routine, evoked potentials had been the most important paraclinical tool to objectively detect pathological changes in multiple sclerosis (MS) [1]. Ever since, evoked potentials have remained part of the routine diagnostic work-up in many centers. Yet current diagnostic criteria attribute a role only to visual evoked potentials to lend objective paraclinical evidence in a patient reporting a previous episode of visual impairment whereas the possible contribution of other evoked potential investigations is recommended to be further explored [2]. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) cover the whole spinocortical pathway; they are robust and easy to perform. According to some authors, SSEP are among the most valuable electrophysiological tests in MS [3] with the highest sensitivity [4] and of prognostic value [5‐9]. However, with the broader availability of MRI including spinal cord (SC) MRI, the question has arisen whether SSEP are of value beyond MRI and how the findings of both methods relate to each other. To the best of our knowledge, only very few studies reported findings from both methods [10]. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed disability, SSEP, brain MRI, and whole SC MRI with full axial coverage in a larger cohort of patients with early MS.

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