Clinical Neuroscience

[The value of motor evoked potentials in the diagnosis of spondylotic myelopathy]

SIMÓ Magdolna, ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna

FEBRUARY 20, 2003

Clinical Neuroscience - 2003;56(01-02)

[Introduction - Motor evoked potential (MEP) is the only method that is able to assess the function of the corticospinal tract in various neurological conditions, such as myelopathies. Myelopathy associated with cervical spondylosis, especially at an early stage, has often slight and non-specific clinical signs, pointing to the importance of the electrophysiological assessment of the spinal cord. The authors' aim was to investigate the sensitivity of MEP examination in the detection of myelopathy secondary to cervical spondylosis. Patients and methods - Patients were classified into three groups according to clinical signs and symptoms: Group I includes patients who have cervical spondylosis as demonstrated by MRI (narrowing of the spinal canal, discal herniation, spinal cord compression) but no complaints or signs suggestive of myelopathy. Results - In Group II patients had minor, non-specific complaints, such as paraesthesia of the legs and gait disturbance raising the possibility of myelopathy, but neurological examination revealed no pyramidal signs. In Group III patients had pyramidal signs as well. In Group I corticospinal function was normal in all patients, as assessed by MEP examination. In Group II all patients had prolonged central motor conduction time or absent responses to cortical stimulation. Likewise, in Group III MEP revealed abnormal corticospinal function in all patients but one. Conclusions - In summary, MEP proved sensitive in the detection of corticospinal dysfunction in myelopathy associated with cervical spondylosis at a stage when clinical signs of pyramidal lesion are not yet present and patients have only minor complaints. On the other hand, if patients are completely symptom free with regard to myelopathy, MEP is also unlikely to disclose corticospinal dysfunction. If pyramidal lesion is evident already by clinical examination, MEP provides no further help. ’Falsenegative’ results are also possible.]



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Clinical Neuroscience

[Primary intramedullary glioblastoma multiforme of the spinal cord: report of eight cases]

BANCZEROWSKI Péter, SIMÓ Magdolna, SIPOS László, SLOWIK Felícia, BENOIST György, VERES Róbert

[Primary glioblastoma multiforme located intramedullary in the spinal cord is a very rare entity. The authors report eight cases and discuss the clinical features, the possibility of diagnosis, combinated treatment and pathomorphological signs focusing on the relevant literature and their experience.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of electrical neuromodulation in the therapy for chronic lower urinary tract dysfunction]


[The electrostimulation techniques may be used as a supplement or an alternative to standard therapy. Electrical therapy for chronic lower tract dysfunction comprises of noninvasive pudendal nerve neuromodulation and invasive sacral nerve stimulation. Short-term functional electrical stimulation seems favourable in selected patients with detrusor hyperreflexia. Sacral nerve stimulation may be a successful treatment option for patients with refractory detrusor overactivity and some forms of urinary retention.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Unusually located metastatic tumors of the spine]

BAZSÓ Péter, NAGY László

[Metastatic spine tumors are representing a growing number of oncological patients. In this paper the authors would like to focus on a rare type of metastatic spine tumors, the unusually located ones. Since the advent of MRI and with the progress in general oncology this formerly rare tumors became more frequently recognized. Consequently these tumors are causing a new challenge for the oncologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons as well. The aim of the authors with this paper was to raise, especially the neurologists' attention to this emerging problem.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Anterior and posterior stabilization following the resection of a thyroid gland tumor destroying more cervical segments]

FECZKÓ József, BARÁTH István, SÁRVÁRY András

[Case report - Authors report a case of thyroid gland carcinoma. The tumor had metastases into the CV-VI-VII vertebras. Through an anterior approach, they removed the malignant tumor together with the bodies of the affected cervical vertebras and a two stage combined (anterior and posterior) cervical instrumentation was performed. The anterior fusion was carried out with iliac crest bone grafting and plate fixation. After four years the patient is alive and well, without symptoms of tumor recurrence or neurologic deficiency. The ventral fusion is stable. Conclusions - Authors present a case of a successful operation of thyroid gland malignant tumor having metastatases in the CV-VI-VII vertebras. Tumor resection, fusion and instrumentation is suggested to be carried out in one stage. The anterior and posterior instrumentation is essential. Radical removal of the tumor is mandatory even with complex instrumentation and oncotherapy procedures.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Spinal stabilizations in our department 1989-2002]

HÁVEL János, GÖBÖL László, GÖRÖMBEY Zoltán, KISS Tibor, LAJKÓ Albert, VALÁLIK István, VIOLA Árpád, JULOW Jenő

[With the aim to compare results to those found in the literature, authors present a retrospective overview of the spinal stabilisations carried out in the Neurosurgical Department at the St. John’s Hospital, Budapest, Hungary between 1989 and 2002. This 37 bed department provides neurosurgical services to the Buda region with its one million inhabitants. Out of 156 000 injuries in total in the past 13 years, the department has dealt with 9360 neurotraumatologic cases, 560 of them suffering from spinal injuries. In parallel, non-traumatic cases were also treated for tumour, infections, degenerative diseases and for the instability of the spine. The 224 stabilised cases were classified into three groups: cervical, thoracic, lumbar. The authors enumerate the type of operation in each level and they present the number of cases belonging to each type. Septic complications occured in 2.5% of cases. Screw breaking or slackening of the implanted devices was observed in 2% of the cases. The types of spinal operations applied provide satisfactory method for controlling the problems caused by the instability the spinal trauma, degenerative and tumourous cases. These results do not diverge from those found in the literature.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of transcranial magnetic stimulation in clinical diagnosis: motor evoked potential (MEP)]

ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna, SIMÓ Magdolna

[Transcranial magnetic stimulation allows painless, non-invasive stimulation, neurophysiological evaluation of nervous structure covered by bone or difficult to access for other reasons. In the clinical setting the technique is mainly used for the investigation of the corticospinal tract (motor evoked potential: MEP). Based upon our experience with patients examined over the course of four years, we have attempted to highlight the clinical situations, where diagnostic help is provided by this technique. MEP in general has proved to be a sensitive and reliable examination. Its significance is apparent mainly in situations where clinical signs of corticospinal tract dysfunction are not evident, or they are masked by lower motoneurone involvement, and where neuroimaging techniques are not informative. The demonstration of subclinical corticospinal lesion is often essential to establish the diagnosis in multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The technique however received little attention so far with respect to its role in the diagnosis of various spinal cord disorders, and in the demonstration of intact corticospinal function in case of weakness, psychogenic in origin. We have endeavoured to provide further evidence in support of this, and thereby advocating a wider clinical application of the technique.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[Two cases of uncommon manifestation of central nervous system sarcoidosis are reported. A 42 year-old man had a spinal cord sarcoidosis. MRI of the spinal cord showed myelopathy in the cervico-thoracic region, and the T2-weighted image showed increasing signal intensity. Neurological symptoms did not correllate with radiological abnormalities. Neurological manifestation was paucisymptomatic. Half a year later steroid and azatioprin therapy led to almost complet radiological and clinical regression. In the second case we present a 49 year-old woman who had left side internuclear ophthalmoplegia and the brainstem lesion. The patient was proven to have sarcoidosis. In this case no abnormalities were found in brain MRI. Neurological symptoms could not be detected by MRI, probably caused by brainstem parenchymal lesions consisting of microgranulomatosis that is sarcoid "brainstem encephalitis". Neurological symptoms improved after steroid treatment in this case too. In both of the cases pulmonary lymphadenopathy helped to diagnose sarcoidosis. In our cases there were interesting correllations between neurological symptoms and MRI abnormalities. At the spinal cord sarcoidosis the radiological abnormalities were more striking than the clinical manifestation. In the other case we found distinct brainstem symptoms but could not detect MRI abnormalities.]

Clinical Neuroscience


ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna

[Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a relatively new technique that allows painless activation of cortical motor neurons. In the clinical setting, TMS is primarily used for the investigation of the corticospinal tract in various neurological diseases, being especially useful in the detection of subclinical dysfunction. In addition to the motor cortex, TMS can be applied to examine other structures inaccessible to electrical stimulation, such as the canalicular portion of the facial nerve. In healthy individuals, TMS can be utilized to monitor excitability changes of the motor system in various situations and muscles, providing valuable information to the understanding of the physiology of motor control. Furthermore, TMS can be used to explore interhemispheric connections as well as intracortical inhibitory and excitatory processes both in health and disease. Finally, with the help of TMS cortical maps of the representation areas of muscles can be constructed, giving insight to both short and long-term cortical plasticity and to the reorganisation of the motor cortex following damage to the brain or acquisition of new motor skills]