Neuromonitoring is used during surgery to assess the functional integrity of the brain, brain stem, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves. The aim of monitoring is to prevent permanent damage by early intervention when changes are detected in the monitor.1,2 Neuromonitoring is also used to map areas of the nervous system in order to guide management in some cases.
The best neuromonitor remains the awake patient. In the conscious state, the function of individual parts of the nervous system and the complex interactions of its different parts can be assessed more accurately. However, most surgical procedures involving the nervous system require general anaesthesia.
Procedures that require neuromonitoring can have changes in their monitored parameters corrected by modifying the surgical approach or by having the anaesthesiologist manipulate the parameters under their control.1,2 An ideal neuromonitor would be one that is specific for the parameter of interest, and gives reliable, reproducible, or continuous results.
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