Can triggered electromyograph thresholds predict safe thoracic pedicle screw placement?

  • Raynor B
  • Lenke L
  • Kim Y
 et al. 
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STUDY DESIGN A prospective clinical study of thoracic pedicle screws monitored with triggered electromyographic testing. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the sensitivity of recording rectus abdominis triggered electromyographs to assess thoracic screw placement. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA Triggered electromyographic testing from lower extremity myotomes has identified medially placed lumbar pedicle screws. Higher thresholds indicate intraosseous placement because of increased resistance to current flow. Lower thresholds correspond to compromised pedicles with potential for nerve impingement. No clinical study has correlated an identical technique with rectus muscle recordings, which are innervated from T6 to T12. METHODS A total of 677 thoracic screws were placed in 92 consecutive patients. Screws placed from T6 and T12 were evaluated using an ascending method of stimulation until a compound muscle action potential was obtained from the rectus abdominis. Threshold values were compared both in absolute terms and also in relation to other intrapatient values. RESULTS Screws were separated into three groups: Group A (n = 650 screws) had thresholds >6.0 mA and intraosseus placement. Group B (n = 21) had thresholds

Author-supplied keywords

  • Nerve monitoring
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Spinal cord
  • Thoracic pedicle screws
  • Triggered EMGs

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  • Lawrence LenkeColumbia University

  • Barry L. Raynor

  • Yongjung Kim

  • Darrell S. Hanson

  • Tracy J. Wilson-Holden

  • Keith H. Bridwell

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