Erb's point stimulation produces slow positive potentials in the human lumbar spinal cord.


Evoked spinal cord potentials (SCPs) were recorded from the posterior epidural space (PES) at the cervical and lumbrosacral enlargements in response to electrical stimulation of the brachial plexus at Erb's point in 17 chronic pain patients. Erb's point stimulation produced slow positive potentials (heterosegmental slow positive potentials, HSPs) in the PES at the lumbrosacral enlargement in all 13 subjects without spinal cord lesions but not in 4 subjects with spinal cord lesions. The HSP1 with a central peak latency of 21 +/- 2 ms (mean +/- SE) was recorded at the stimulus intensity up to two to three times the threshold strength (T) of the initially positive spike (P1) of the segmental SCP, which was simultaneously recorded from the PES at the cervical enlargement. At the stimulus intensity of more than 3T, another slow positive potential (HSP2) with central peak latency of 71 +/- 6 ms was recorded. These slow positive potentials (HSP1 and HSP2) might be produced by a feedback loop via supraspinal structures, presumably primary afferent depolarizations, in comparison to the HSPs of our previous studies in the rat. Slow negative potentials were sometimes noted before (5 of 13) and/or after (2 of 13) the HSP1. These slow negative potentials probably reflect the activities of dorsal horn neurons producing the HSP1 and HSP2, respectively, also elicited by a feedback loop via supraspinal structures.

Cite this paper

@article{Shimoji1994ErbsPS, title={Erb's point stimulation produces slow positive potentials in the human lumbar spinal cord.}, author={Koki Shimoji and Minoru Tomita and Toshiyuki Tobita and Hideo Baba and Tadahiro Takada and Satoshi Fukuda and Shinsuke Aida and Naoki Fujiwara}, journal={Journal of clinical neurophysiology : official publication of the American Electroencephalographic Society}, year={1994}, volume={11 3}, pages={365-74} }