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Brainstem auditory and somatosensory evoked potentials: a methodological study to evaluate the reproducibility of two devices.

We aimed to determine whether statistical significant differences exist between the sets of results obtained from two devices used in our department for measuring brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). We obtained BAEP and median and posterior tibial nerve SEP values bilaterally in ten healthy subjects. The tests were performed on the same subject using two devices consecutively. The equipment consisted of a Nicolet Viking-IV (Nicolet, Madison, WI, USA) and a Viking Select (Viasys Healthcare, Madison, WI, USA), and the same recording electrodes and stimulator (auditory and electrical) were used without modifying any postural position of the subject. The stimuli and recording parameters were the same for both devices. We obtained 20 sets of data for each type of test. The Bland–Altman plots as well as the one-sample t-test or Wilcoxon signed rank test were used to compare data between the two groups of data sets. We found no significant differences between the sets of values obtained with the two devices. Our analysis indicates that the two devices are equal in recording all different variables of BAEP and SEP, which allows us to combine the BAEP and SEP data obtained from the two devices for follow-up studies involving quantitative statistical methods. This study received institutional approval (protocol number PRAG-154/2013).

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