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Skull base surgery. 1996 January; 6(1): 9–15.
PMCID: PMC1656506

Intraoperative Electrophysiologic Monitoring of Ocular Motor Nerves Under Conditions of Partial Neuromuscular Blockade During Skull Base Surgery


The feasibility and usefulness of intraoperative electromyographic monitoring of the oculomotor nerve (CN III), trochlear nerve (CN IV), and abducens nerve (CN IV) were evaluated under conditions of partial neuromuscular blockade in 21 patients undergoing skill base surgery. Intracranial electrical stimulation of each nerve was performed, and compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) were reconded from the inferior or superior rectus muscle, the superior oblique muscle, and the lateral rectus muscle for monitoring of CN III, IV, and VI, respectively. Partial neuromuscular blockade was achieved by controlled infusion of vecuronium titrated to eliminate about 90% of the twitch response of the abductor pollicis brevis to electrical stimulation of the median nerve. A total of 30 cranial nerves were stimulated intraoperatively. Of these, 29 were successfully monitored (19 CN III, 6 CN IV, 4 CN VI). A relationship was found between intraoperative findings of cranial nerve monitoring, such as disappearance of response and increase in latency and stimulus threshold during manipulation of a lesion, and the presence of postoperative nerve deficits. We conclude that intraoperative electromyographic monitoring of ocular motor nerves is feasible during partial neuromuscular blockade, and that partial neuromuscular blockade does not affect the relationship between findings of intraoperative monitoring and postoperative nerve function.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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