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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • magnetic motor evoked potentials;
  • cervical cord lesion;
  • ataxia

Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate the use of magnetic motor evoked potentials as an ancillary diagnostic test in horses with cervical cord lesions.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation was performed in 12 ataxic horses and the results of the evoked responses were compared to those found in normal horses. The latency and peak-to-peak amplitude of the potentials in the 12 ataxic horses were significantly different from those measured in normal horses. The configuration of the abnormal potentials was also polyphasic. Normalisation of the evoked potentials occurred in none of the horses, presented after a period of clinical improvement. These findings demonstrate that the technique is also able to detect lesions in horses with subtle clinical signs of incoordination.

Magnetic transcranial stimulation is a valuable ancillary test to assess the integrity of the motortracts. The technique is painless and safe and shows good sensitivity to detect lesions along the descending motor pathways.