intraoperative neuromonitoring, real-time evaluation, functional integrity, neural structures


Intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) is used during surgery as a method of real-time evaluation of the functional integrity of neural structures.1 It is a simple and minimally invasive too designed to detect, treat, and prevent potential damage to the nervous system during high-risk medical procedures such as brain, nerve, and spine surgery.2 IONM allows correlation between surgical interventions with neurophysiological changes at a time when damage from surgical trauma can be avoided or reverted.3

The type of neuromonitor used should be one that is specific for the parameter of interest, affordable, practical, reliable and ideally give reproducible or continuous results. Frequently, multiple techniques are used together in order to increase the utility of monitoring and to overcome limitations of individual techniques.4

As modern health care shifts toward value-based systems, questions arise as to the exact cost-effectiveness of IONM. Also, despite advancements in the understanding of IONM and the popularity of this technique in modern surgery, controversies still exist regarding its effectiveness and the necessity for its use in routine procedure.5

Author Biography

KK Purbhoo, University of the Witwatersrand

Department of Anaesthesia, Helen Joseph Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa






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