Tibial Nerve Somatosensory Evoked Potentials in Normal Dogs and in Dogs with Cauda Equina Compression
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2003
N. Suwankong; B.P. Meij; W.E. van den Brom; A.J. Venker van Haagen; H.A.W. Hazewinkel
Dept. of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Utrecht University, The Netherlands


To investigate spinal and cortical somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) in normal dogs and dogs with cauda equina compression.

Materials & Methods

SEPs were recorded in 11 normal dogs and 21 dogs with cauda equina compression due to lumbosacral interverbral disc protrusion confirmed on computed tomography. Clinical signs included lumbosacral pain, pelvic limb lameness, muscle weakness and atrophy. Following tibial nerve stimulation, spinal SEPs were recorded percutaneously under anesthesia from L7-S1 to T13-L1. Cortical SEPs were recorded from the scalp. SEPs were analysed for waveform, latency, and amplitude.


Two prominent negative peaks were identified: N1, reflecting the ascending volley of impulses in the dorsal roots of the cauda equina, and N2, reflecting postsynaptic activity in the spinal cord and spinal cord interneurons. Both negative peaks were followed by positive deflections P1 and P2. Latencies of N1-P1 and N2-P2 complex were significantly prolonged in the patient group compared with the control group. Amplitudes of N1 and N2 were not significantly different between control and patient group. Top-top amplitudes were significantly higher in the patient group than in control group. Cortical SEPs were not different between control and patient group.


Cauda equina compression delays nerve conduction as evidenced by prolonged latencies of spinal SEPs.

Speaker Information
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N. Suwankong
Dept. of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Utrecht University,
The Netherlands

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