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Conduction velocity of the human spinothalamic tract as assessed by laser evoked potentials.

Authors
  • 1
  • 1 Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy. , (Italy)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neuroreport
0959-4965
Publisher
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
Volume
11
Issue
13
Pages
3029–3032
Identifiers
PMID: 11006988
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

To study the conduction velocity of the spinothalamic tract (STT) we delivered CO2 laser pulses, evoking pinprick sensations, to the skin overlying the vertebral spinous processes at different spinal levels from C5 to T10 and recorded evoked potentials (LEPs) in 15 healthy human subjects. These stimuli yielded large-amplitude vertex potentials consisting of a negative wave at a peak latency of about 200 ms followed by a positive wave at a peak latency of about 300 ms. The mean conduction velocity of the STT was 21 m/s, i.e. higher than the reported velocity of the corresponding primary sensory neurons (type II AMH). Because dorsal stimulation readily yields reproducible brain LEPs, we expect this technique to be useful as a diagnostic tool for assessing the level of spinal cord lesions.

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