Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEP)

This safe test evaluates the sensory pathway as an electrical signal travels from the nerve endings in the arms and/or legs to the brain. This test evaluates whether there is an interruption somewhere along the pathway. Tiny electrodes will be placed on your head and other areas of your body such as your neck, lower back, arms and legs. You will feel a mild electrical "pulse" for up to several minutes in each limb that is being evaluated. A computer will record the results as the nerves in your limbs, spinal cord, and brain respond to the stimulation. You may feel some discomfort and/or muscle twitch during the study. These results will be interpreted by a neurologist.

Time:

Approximately 15 minutes for each nerve being tested (median, ulnar, tibial, peroneal) or 60 minutes for a Upper and Lower SSEP when performed together.

Preparation:

  • Shampoo and dry hair without using sprays, gels or oils. No braids or intricate hair designs as they will need to be removed prior to the test.
  • Wear a shortsleeved shirt or button up shirt and loose pants that can be pulled up past your knee.
  • Continue taking medications as prescribed by your physician.
  • Bring a list of your medications you are taking.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment.

Your Results:

All neurodiagnostic test results will be interpreted by a neurologist, and results will be sent to your physician. Your physician is responsible for communicating your results to you and helping you understand what they mean. If you have any questions about your test results, please call your doctor.

If you have a MyMidMichigan account, we will also send your test results to your account. If you need help accessing your test results in MyMidMichigan or would like to request a paper copy, please call MidMichigan's Health Information Department at (989) 839-3319.

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