SEP testing to categorize multiple sclerosis subtypes.

TitleSEP testing to categorize multiple sclerosis subtypes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsShah AN, Brown TR, Wadhwani R, Miracle G, Caserta K, Kraft GH
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care

There are currently no laboratory methods available to categorize Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients into primary progressive (PP) vs. secondary progressive (SP) subtypes. Somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) testing has been used as an adjunctive aid in diagnosing multiple sclerosis. Histological studies indicate that patients with SP MS exhibit demyelinative changes. Conversely, PP MS patients show more axonal degeneration and relatively less demyelination. We hypothesize that SEP testing can assist in the differentiation between SP and PP subtypes. We performed a cross-sectional, two group comparison study within a university hospital setting comparing SEP results in 50 patients representing these two subtypes. All subjects carried a confirmed diagnosis of MS. Standardized multi-channel median and tibial nerve SEP testing was performed on all patients. SEP tests were performed; latencies, amplitudes and central conduction times were evaluated. Initial analysis of the data support the hypothesis that SP MS exhibits relatively more central conduction slowing and PP MS exhibits relatively more amplitude attenuation. We propose that SEP testing may be a useful adjunct in the differentiation between SP and PP multiple sclerosis.

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