Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring in Spine Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

Study Design.

Systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

Objective.

The objective of this systematic literature review was to evaluate if intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) can prevent neurological injury during spinal operative surgical procedures.

Summary of Background Data.

IONM seems to have presumable positive effects in identifying neurological deficits. However, the role of IONM in the decrease of new neurological deficits remains unclear.

Methods.

Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines for systematic reviews and Meta-analysis, we reviewed clinical comparative studies who evaluate the rate of new neurological events in patients who had a spinal surgery with and without IONM. Studies were then classified according to their level of evidence. Methodological quality was assessed according to methodological index for non-randomized studies instrument.

Results.

Six studies were evaluated comparing neurological events with and without IONM use by the random effects model. There was a great statistical heterogeneity. The pooled odds ratio (OR) was 0.72 {0.71; 1.79}, P = 0.4584. A specific analysis was done for two studies reporting the results of IONM for spinal surgery of intramedullary lesions. The OR was 0.1993 (0.0384; 1.0350), P = 0.0550.

Conclusion.

IONM did not result into fewer neurological events with the obtained evidence of the included studies. For intramedullary lesions, there was a trend to fewer neurological events in patients who underwent surgery with IONM. Further prospective randomized studies are necessary to clarify the indications of IONM in spinal surgeries.

Conclusion.

Level of Evidence: 2

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