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Evoked potentials 

Evoked potentials
Chapter:
Evoked potentials
Author(s):

Helmut Buchner

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199688395.003.0015
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date: 01 April 2020

Evoked potentials (EPs) occur in the peripheral and the central nervous system. The low amplitude signals are extracted from noise by averaging multiple time epochs time-locked to a sensory stimulus. The mechanisms of generation, the techniques for stimulation and recording are established. Clinical applications provide robust information to various questions. The importance of EPs is to measure precisely the conduction times within the stimulated sensory system. Visual evoked potentials to a pattern reversal checker board stimulus are commonly used to evaluate the optic nerve. Auditory evoked potentials following ‘click’ stimuli delivered by a headset are most often used to test the auditory nerve and for prognostication in comatose patients. Somatosensory evoked potentials to electrical stimulation of distal nerves evaluate the peripheral nerve and the lemniscal system, and have various indications from demyelinating diseases to the monitoring of operations and prognosis of comatose patients.

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