Prognostic value of motor evoked potentials in motor function recovery of upper limb after stroke
Assunta Pizzi, Riccardo Carrai, Catuscia Falsini, Monica Martini, Sonia Verdesca, Antonello Grippo
Objective: To determine the prognostic value of clinical assessment and motor evoked potentials for upper limb strength and functional recovery after acute stroke, and to establish the possible use of motor evoked potentials in rehabilitation.
Design: A prospective study.
Subjects: Fifty-two patients with hemiparesis were enrolled one month post-stroke; 38 patients concluded the study at 12 months.
Methods: Motor evoked potentials were recorded at baseline and after one month. Upper limb muscular strength (Medical Research Council Scale, MRC) and functional tests (Frenchay Arm Test, Barthel Index) were used as dependent outcome variables 12 months later. Motor evoked potentials were classified as present or absent. Predictive values of motor evoked potentials and MRC were evaluated.
Results: At 12 months, patients with baseline recordable motor evoked potentials showed a good functional recovery (positive predictive value 94%). The absence of motor evoked potentials did not exclude muscular strength recovery (negative predictive value 95%). Motor evoked potentials had a higher positive predictive value than MRC only in patients with MRC < 2.
Conclusion: Motor evoked potentials could be a supportive tool to increase the prognostic accuracy of upper limb motor and functional outcome in hemiparetic patients, especially those with severe initial paresis (MRC < 2) and/or with motor evoked potentials absent in the post-stroke acute phase.
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