Intraoperative Motor Evoked Responses to Double-Train Paradigm Stimulation for Guiding Lead Placement and Postoperative Programming in Spinal Cord Stimulation for Pain.

Schläppi, Janine-Ai; Schreen, Raphael; Mija, Raluca; Nowacki, Andreas; Pollo, Claudio; Seidel, Kathleen (2023). Intraoperative Motor Evoked Responses to Double-Train Paradigm Stimulation for Guiding Lead Placement and Postoperative Programming in Spinal Cord Stimulation for Pain. Neuromodulation, 26(1), pp. 147-156. Elsevier 10.1016/j.neurom.2022.03.009

[img] Text
1-s2.0-S1094715922006468-main.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy


We aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of using motor evoked responses to intraoperative double-train stimulation to guide lead placement and matching of intraoperative contacts with postoperative electrode programming in spinal cord stimulation for pain performed under general anesthesia.


The study included a series of 20 consecutive patients with refractory pain operated on under general anesthesia. Either percutaneous or paddle leads were implanted and positioned according to the intraoperative mapping results. Neurophysiologic mapping was performed with a double-train stimulation paradigm (intertrain interval of 60 milliseconds, three to five cathodal pulses with 0.5-millisecond pulse duration, and within-train interstimulus intervals of 2-4 milliseconds). The sites where dorsal column responses of the targeted dermatomes were detected were considered optimal for lead placement (intraoperative best contacts). Following spinal cord stimulator (SCS) lead placement, blinded postoperative programming of electrode contacts was matched with the intraoperative best contacts and the pain-paresthesia overlap for the trial phase. A binominal test was used as a statistical method; pre- and postoperative numeric rating scale (NRS) after three months was obtained.


A total of 15 patients underwent spinal cord stimulation trial for intractable pain. Of these, ten patients (66%) had a successful trial and received permanent implants; one patient had a successful trial but was never intended to be implanted because of her poor health condition; four patients (26%) had an unsuccessful trial, leading to trial electrode explantation; and five patients had already had an implant with percutaneous leads and therefore underwent electrode revision, of whom four patients received paddle leads. In 18 of the 20 operated patients (90%), we found a match between the best intraoperative contacts and the postoperatively programmed contacts (significantly better than chance, p = 8.2 × 10-15). In 90% of the patients, a pain-paresthesia overlap of 100% was found. In the remaining two patients (10%), the postoperatively best programmed contacts were one contact away from the intraoperative neurophysiologic best contact. A mean preoperative NRS score of 8.2 (variance) and a mean follow-up NRS score after three months of 3.6 (variance) were obtained for all patients with implants.


In this proof-of-concept study, we were able to demonstrate that SCS lead placement using a double-train stimulation paradigm performed under general anesthesia is a safe and feasible technique, offering reliable prediction of contacts for postoperative programming and excellent pain-paresthesia coverage.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurosurgery

UniBE Contributor:

Schläppi, Janine Ai, Nowacki, Andreas, Pollo, Claudio, Seidel, Kathleen


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

24 May 2022 15:49

Last Modified:

09 Jan 2023 00:12

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

General anesthesia intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring mapping pain spinal cord stimulation




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback