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What is SSEP?

The Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP) test evaluates the function of the central nervous system through nerve pathways that travel through the spine to the somatosensory region of the brain. Somatosensory literally translates into "body" (somato) and "reception and transmission of sense impression" (sensory). These tests are performed to evaluate and detect spinal cord injuries and disease.


Procedure

The technician will measure the patients head and mark it with a marker. The electrode sites are then prepared by rubbing on a special skin preparation with a cotton-tipped applicator. Approximately 10 recording electrodes are attached to the scalp, shoulders and legs. The electrodes are attached with collodion (an ether-based glue) and dried with compressed air. The collodion has a strong odor and the compressed air may feel cold to the scalp. Stimulating electrodes are placed on the wrists and/or ankles.


General Instructions

Wash head with soap or shampoo. Do not apply oil.