Detection of stroke during cardiac operations with somatosensory evoked responses

M. M. Stecker, A. T. Cheung, T. Patterson, J. S. Savino, S. J. Weiss, R. M. Richards, J. E. Bavaria, T. J. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine if monitoring of intraoperative somatosensory evoked potentials could be used to detect stroke during cardiac operations and to establish indicators of cerebral ischemia based on changes in these potentials. Methods: Twenty-five patients undergoing cardiac operations underwent preoperative and postoperative neurologic examinations as well as intraoperative recording of somatosensory evoked potentials. Detailed analysis of the waveforms of these potentials was performed. Results: Two of the 25 patients had intraoperative strokes. These patients and only these patients had changes in their somatosensory evoked potentials during the operation suggesting cerebral ischemia. The unilateral disappearance of the cortical somatosensory evoked potential waves correlated significantly with the clinical outcome of stroke (p < 0.004). Ischemic changes were detected in real time and were related to the removal of the aortic crossclamp in one patient and to the initiation of cardiopulmonary bypass in the other. Conclusions: Somatosensory evoked potentials can detect intraoperative stroke during cardiac operations. Acute, unilateral decreases in amplitude of the cortical potential are more useful than changes in latency in detecting intraoperative stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-972
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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