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Increasing the Diagnostic Value of Evoked Potentials in Multiple Sclerosis by Quantitative Topographic Analysis of Multichannel Recordings

Lascano, Agustina M.*†; Brodbeck, Verena*†; Lalive, Patrice H.; Chofflon, Michel; Seeck, Margitta; Michel, Christoph M.*†

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: October 2009 - Volume 26 - Issue 5 - p 316-325
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0b013e3181baac00
Original Article

Summary: This study presents a method to record and analyze multichannel visual-evoked potential (VEP) and somatosensory-evoked potential (SEP) in an objective, automatic, and quantitative manner. The intention of this study was to assess their diagnostic value in multiple sclerosis (MS). A 256-channel VEP and SEP were recorded in 44 healthy subjects, 26 patients with MS, and 20 patients with other neurologic diseases. Topographic pattern recognition methods were applied and a normative database was established. Z-score statistics allowed identifying the number of subjects with significant abnormal values in each group. These values were compared with conventional single-channel waveform analysis. The diagnostic value of the new measures for MS reached a sensitivity of 72% and a specificity of 100% for the VEP, which was significantly higher than the conventional analysis. For the SEP, the specificity was also high (93%) but the sensitivity remained low as in the conventional analysis (30%). The quantitative topographic analysis of multichannel VEP revealed high-diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for MS. Moreover, the method reliably identified the most dominant VEP and SEP components in the healthy subject group. The results indicate that objective topographic analysis of multichannel recordings increase the value of VEP as surrogate marker for MS.

From the *Functional Brain Mapping Laboratory, †Neurology Clinic, Departments of Clinical and Fundamental Neuroscience, University and University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland.

This work was supported by the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM), Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Swiss National Science Foundation (320000-111783 to C.M.M.).

Address correspondence and reprint requests to C.M. Michel, Ph.D., Functional Brain Mapping Laboratory, Neurology Clinic, Departments of Clinical and Fundamental Neuroscience, University and University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland; e-mail:

Copyright © 2009 American Clinical Neurophysiology Society