An algorithm for monitoring sensory evoked potentials
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Brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP) testing is used extensively to monitor auditory function during retromastoid craniectomies for microvascular decompression. The latency between BAEP peaks can change notably over a period of several seconds or minutes, a much shorter time than is necessary to acquire and analyze a conventionally averaged BAEP. This article describes a continuous monitoring algorithm that detects both large, rapid changes in waveform and slow changes in latency. A prestimulus control interval in the response data window provides a mechanism for evaluating the reliability of the response. The algorithm tracks the latency and amplitude of a selected peak, using several checks to avoid detecting the wrong peak. The tracking mechanism is simple yet effective and eliminates the need to suspend averaging for manual measurement of peak parameters. The peak latency and amplitude are displayed immediately. The algorithm indicates gross changes in the BAEP within 30 seconds and provides reliable data on latency trends. By increasing the frequency of acquiring new waveforms, the algorithm provides more immediate information for the surgeon.
Key wordsEvoked potentials Monitoring Algorithm: peak detection, signal averaging
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