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Skull base surgery. 1993 October; 3(4): 230–239.
PMCID: PMC1656448

Issues in the Optimal Selection of a Cranial Nerve Monitoring System


Intraoperative nerve monitoring (IONM) is a safe technique that is of clear clinical value in the preservation of cranial nerves in skull base surgery and is rapidly becoming the standard of care. Available nerve monitoring systems vary widely in capabilities and costs. A well-informed surgeon may best decide on monitoring needs based on surgical case selection, experience, operating room space, availability of monitoring personnel, and cost. Key system characteristics that should be reviewed in the decision-making process include the monitoring technique (electromyography, pressure transducer, direct nerve monitoring, brainstem auditory evoked potential) and the stimulus technique (stimulating parameters, probe selection). In the past, IONM has been primarily employed in posterior fossa and temporal bone surgery, but the value of IONM is being recognized in more skull base and head and neck surgeries. Suggested IONM strategies for specific surgeries are presented.

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Selected References

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