Involuntary muscle spasm expressed as motor evoked potential after olfactory mucosa autograft in patients with chronic spinal cord injury and complete paraplegia


Object: The efficacy of olfactory mucosa autograft (OMA) for chronic spinal cord injury has been reported. New activity in response to voluntary effort has been documented by electromyography (EMG), but the emergence of motor evoked potential (MEP) reflecting electrophysiological conductivity in the central nervous system, including the corticospinal pathway, after OMA, and the best indications for OMA, have not been clarified. Here, we report the emergence of MEPs after OMA and offer recom-mendations for appropriate indications based on the presence of involuntary muscle spasm (IMS). We used analysis of MEP to examine the efficacy of OMA for patients with complete paraplegia due to chronic spinal cord injury. To clarify the indications for OMA, we investigated the association of IMS and efficacy of OMA. Methods: Four patients, 3 men and 1 woman, were enrolled. The mean age of the cases was 30.3 ± 9.5 years (range, 19 to 40 years). All 4 cases were American Spinal Injury Association (ASISA) grade A. The mean duration from injury to OMA was 95.8 ± 68.2 months (range, 17 to 300 months). Samples of olfactory mucosa were removed, cut into smaller pieces, and grafted into the sites of spinal cord lesions after laminectomy. Postoperative subcutaneous fluid collection, postoperative meningitis, postoperative nosebleed, postoperative infection in the nasal cavity, impaired olfaction, neoplastic tissue overgrowth at the autograft site, new sensory disturbance, and involuntary muscle spasm were investigated as safety issues. Improvements in ASIA grade, variations in ASIA scores, EMG, SSEP, and improved urological function were evaluated as efficacy indicators. Results: There were no serious adverse events in this series. In 2 of the 4 cases, an improvement in motor function below the level of injury was recognized. In one, the motor score was 50 until 16 weeks after surgery, and it increased to 52 from 20 weeks after surgery. In the other, the motor score was 50 until 20 weeks after surgery, and it increased to 52 at 24 weeks after surgery with a further increase to 54 at 48 weeks after surgery. The emergence of MEP was recognized in the latter case at 96 weeks after surgery. The other 2 cases had no improvement in ASIA motor score. Both of these cases who showed improvements in the ASIA motor scores exhibited relative IMS compared with those who had no ASIA motor score recovery. Conclusions: We recognized the emergence of MEPs in a case with complete paraplegia due to chronic spinal cord injury after OMA. IMS might be a candidate of indication of OMA.

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Iwatsuki, K. , Yoshimine, T. , Sankai, Y. , Tajima, F. , Umegaki, M. , Ohnishi, Y. , Ishihara, M. , Ninomiya, K. and Moriwaki, T. (2013) Involuntary muscle spasm expressed as motor evoked potential after olfactory mucosa autograft in patients with chronic spinal cord injury and complete paraplegia. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 6, 908-916. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.69111.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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