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Hyper Smash

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pedicle Screws & Triggered EMGs!

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 Jan 15;35(2):E43-8.

Usefulness of electromyography compared to computed tomography scans in pedicle screw placement.
Duffy MF, Phillips JH, Knapp DR, Herrera-Soto JA.
STUDY DESIGN: This is a retrospective analysis of 30 pediatric deformity surgeries. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of neuromonitoring in comparison to postoperative computed tomography scans for pedicle screw position. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Triggered electromyography potentials in aiding the placement of lumbar pedicle screws are considered useful; however, this method is less accepted in thoracic screw placement. METHODS: Thirty pediatric deformity surgeries were reviewed. All screws were placed using fluoroscopic assistance. Electromyography data were obtained on all screws. Every patient underwent postoperative computed tomography scanning. Computed tomography scans were assessed by all authors, and each screw was classified. Sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value, and likelihood ratios were determined for the cut-off value of an electromyography > or =6 mA. RESULTS: A total of 329 screws were reviewed. No complications occurred. An overall accuracy of 93% was obtained. No retained screw had greater than 2 mm medial pedicle wall breach. Nine screws were removed intraoperatively due to medial breach. The mean electromyography potential for all classes of screws was not statistically different (P > 0.1). The negative predictive value of the test was 0.92 in the thoracic spine and 0.93 in the lumbar spine. The negative likelihood ratios were 0.96 and 0.35 for the thoracic and lumbar spines respectively, and the positive likelihood ratio was 1.4 for the thoracic spine and 12.5 for the lumbar spine. CONCLUSION: Thoracic and lumbar pedicle screws are safe surgical options in the treatment of pediatric scoliosis. Comparison of electromyography potentials and postoperative computed tomography scans showed no statistically significant difference for all classes of screws. The likelihood ratio for electromyography testing was more clinically significant in the lumbar spine. A triggered electromyography value greater than or equal to 6 mA has a high likelihood of that screw being in the "safe zone." However, there is no true electromyography cut-off value that guarantees accurate placement and avoidance of neurologic injury.

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