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Comparative study of MRI and dermatomal somatosensory evoked potential in evaluation of lumbosacral disc herniation

LIU Li-yuan,LI He-ping,ZHANG Bing,YANG Jian-yong,LIU Jin-zhao,MA Zhen. Department of Orthopedic Surgery,Longgang Pinghu Peoples' Hospital,Shenzhen Guangdong 518111,P.R.China  
Objective To study comparatively the value of the MRI and dermatomal somatosensory evoked potential(DSEP) in evaluation of lumbosacral disc herniation(LDH).Methods MRI and L5 and S1 DSEP were recorded from 65 patients with radiculopathy caused by LDH pre-operation.The diagnosis was finally confirmed by surgery.Results In comparison with surgical findings.the positive rates of MRI and DSEP were 96.9%(63/65) and 90.8%(59/65) respectively.The positive rate was 100%(65/65) when these two examinations methods were combined.Two cases were missed diagnosis by MRI but were diagnosed correctly by DSEP and 6 cases were missed diagnosis by DSEP but were diagnosed correctly by MRI.Conclusion DSEP is useful for the evaluation of function of the nerve roots but its positive rate for diagnosis of LDH is little lower than MRI.MRI can display the morphological changes of the lesions but the type of intervertebral foramen is often missed diagnosis by MRI.These two examinations methods are better to be combined so as to provide more overall and accurate information for the diagnosis and treatment of LDH.
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