Effects of Anesthetic Agents and Physiologic Changes on Intraoperative Motor Evoked Potentials

Michelle L. Lotto, Mark Banoub, Armin Schubert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) have shown promise as a valuable tool for monitoring intraoperative motor tract function and reducing postoperative plegia. MEP monitoring has been reported to contribute to deficit prevention during resection of tumors adjacent to motor structures in the cerebral cortex and spine, and in detecting spinal ischemia during thoracic aortic reconstruction. Many commonly used anesthetic agents have long been known to depress MEP responses and reduce MEP specificity for motor injury detection. Although new stimulation techniques have broadened the spectrum of anesthetics that can be used during MEP monitoring, certain agents continue to have dose-dependent effects on MEP reliability. Understanding the effects of anesthetic agents and physiologic alterations on MEPs is imperative to increasing the acceptance and application of this technique in the prevention of intraoperative motor tract injury. This review is intended as an overview of the effects of anesthetics and physiology on the reproducibility of intraoperative myogenic MEP responses, rather than an analysis of the sensitivity and specificity of this monitoring method in the prevention of motor injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Anesthetic agents
  • Intraoperative monitoring
  • Motor evoked potentials
  • Neuromuscular blockade
  • Physiologic effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Anesthetic Agents and Physiologic Changes on Intraoperative Motor Evoked Potentials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this