Segmental somatosensory-evoked potentials as a diagnostic tool in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathies, and other sensory neuropathies

R. M. Koutlidis, X. Ayrignac, P. F. Pradat, N. Le Forestier, J. M. Léger, F. Salachas, T. Maisonobe, E. Fournier, K. Viala

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of the study: Somatosensory-evoked potentials with segmental recordings were performed with the aim of distinguishing chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy from other sensory neuropathies. Patients and methods: Four groups of 20subjects each corresponded to patients with (1) possible sensory chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, (2) patients with sensory polyneuropathy of unknown origin, (3) patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and (4) normal subjects. The patients selected for this study had preserved sensory potentials on electroneuromyogram and all waves were recordable in evoked potentials. Somatosensory-evoked potentials evaluations were carried out by stimulation of the posterior tibial nerve at the ankle, recording peripheral nerve potential in the popliteal fossa, radicular potential and spinal potential at the L4-L5 and T12 levels, and cortical at C'z, with determination of distal conduction time, proximal and radicular conduction time and central conduction time. Results: In the group of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, 80% of patients had abnormal conduction in the N8-N22 segment and 95% had abnormal N18-N22 conduction time. In the group of neuropathies, distal conduction was abnormal in most cases, whereas 60% of patients had no proximal abnormality. None of the patients in the group of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis had an abnormal N18-N22 conduction time. Conclusion: Somatosensory-evoked potentials with segmental recording can be used to distinguish between atypical sensory chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and other sensory neuropathies, at the early stage of the disease. Graphical representation of segmental conduction times provides a rapid and accurate visualization of the profile of each patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-280
Number of pages14
JournalNeurophysiologie Clinique
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2014


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Sensory polyneuropathy
  • Somatosensory-evoked potentials


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