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Evoked Potentials (EP)

Evoked potentials testing measures how quickly a nerve responds to a stimulus. At WakeMed, we perform evoked potentials testing in these settings:

  • In surgery, while patients are undergoing spinal procedures so that the surgeon can check to see if a nerve is still active.
  • In the lab, we conduct evoked potential studies to check the nerves in patients who have experienced hearing or vision loss, blind spots and other ENT conditions that may be related to nerve damage or injury. Testing of the limbs is also performed for numbness.

Learn what to expect from EP testing
In surgery, all testing is done while the patient is under anesthesia. In the neurodiagnostic lab, an EP test is performed based on the symptoms.

  • In hearing loss, patients undergo an auditory brain stem evoked potentials test using a series of test tones. Patients are fitted with earphones to provide a hearing pathway.

  • In cases where patients have vision loss, a visual evoked potentials test is done to determine how they respond to test patterns on a video screen.

  • Somatosensory potentials are done by connecting a tiny electrode to a nerve in the arms or legs to check for function. The nerves are stimulated by the electrical pulse.

For each test, the patient has electrodes connected at the scalp to record the response. The responses are tracked by the time that the stimulation was applied and the speed at which the patient responds. That provides insight into the functionality of the nerve.

All nonsurgical evoked potentials testing is performed in the WakeMed Neurodiagnostic Lab, at our Raleigh Campus, located on the 1st floor in the Medical Office Building.

Directions from Outpatient Registration: Turn right and follow the hall to the 1st intersection. Turn right onto the carpeted area, and follow the carpeted area to Occupational Health. Look to the left for the purple elevators and the sign for Neurodiagnostic Lab, Pulmonary Functions Lab.

For information about an EP test, please call: 919-350-3734.

If you are a physician referring a patient for an EP test, please call our patient schedule line at 919-350-7000.




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