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Electrodiagnostic applications of somatosensory evoked high-frequency EEG oscillations: Technical considerations

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark Cunningham, Professor Mark BakerORCiD


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© 2018 The Authors Introduction: High frequency oscillations (HFOs) embedded within the somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) are not routinely recorded/measured as part of standard clinical SEPs. However, HFOs could provide important additional diagnostic/prognostic information in various patient groups in whom SEPs are tested routinely. One area is the management of patients with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) in the intensive care unit (ICU). However, the sensitivity of standard clinical SEP recording techniques for detecting HFOs is unknown. Methods: SEPs were recorded using routine clinical methods in 17 healthy subjects (median nerve stimulation; 0.5 ms pulse width; 5 Hz; maximum 4000 stimuli) in an unshielded laboratory. Bipolar EEG recordings were acquired (gain 50 k; bandpass 3Hz–2 kHz; sampling rate 5 kHz; non-inverting electrode 2 cm anterior to C3/C4; inverting electrode 2 cm posterior to C3/C4). Data analysis was performed in MATLAB. Results: SEP-HFOs were detected in 65% of controls using standard clinical recording techniques. In 3 controls without significant HFOs, experiments were repeated using a linear electrode array with higher spatial sampling frequency. SEP-HFOs were observed in all 3 subjects. Conclusions: Currently standard clinical methods of recording SEPs are not sufficiently sensitive to permit the inclusion of SEP-HFOs in routine clinical diagnostic/prognostic assessments. Whilst an increase in the number/density of EEG electrodes should improve the sensitivity for detecting SEP-HFOs, this requires confirmation. By improving and standardising clinical SEP recording protocols to permit the acquisition/analysis of SEP-HFOs, it should be possible to gain important insights into the pathophysiology of neurological disorders and refine the management of conditions such as HIE.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Simpson AJ, Cunningham MO, Baker MR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Brain Research Bulletin

Year: 2018

Volume: 137

Pages: 351-355

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 02/02/2018

Acceptance date: 15/01/2018

ISSN (print): 0361-9230

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2747

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2018.01.011


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