Introduction: The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of various extra- and intraoperative factors on the ability of neuromonitoring to predict neurological complications. Methods: We reviewed the data from 592 patients who had undergone cervical spine surgery with neuromonitoring at Assuta Medical Center from 2006 to 2013. We compared the somatosensory evoked potentials, transcranial electric motor evoked potentials, and electromyographic signals collected throughout surgery with the patient surgical outcome measures, demographic data, pre-existing pathological features found on neurological examination, and radiographic findings. Descriptive and inferential analyses were used to estimate the relative explanatory power contributed by these factors. Results: We included 468 patients in the present study. Neuromonitoring changes occurred in 100 patients, and the appropriate clinical intervention was undertaken in all 100, with recovery of the signals in 69. A transient neuromonitoring change was not associated with a poor outcome (only 8 of 69 patients). However, a permanent neuromonitoring change was associated with a new neurological deficit (13 of 31 patients) Changes occurring during positioning or decompression were associated with better clinical outcomes than were changes occurring during the rest of the procedure. Extraoperative factors were not associated with an increased risk of neuromonitoring changes during surgery or poorer surgical outcomes. Conclusions: Permanent neuromonitoring changes predicted for new neurological deficits. However, transient changes were not associated with a new deficit. Neuromonitoring changes occurring during positioning and decompression had better clinical outcomes compared with those occurring during the rest of the procedure.
- Cervical spine surgery
- Intraoperative neuromonitoring
- Surgical outcome