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Somatosensory Evoked Potential Testing (SSEP)

Somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) testing 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, neuromuscular diseases and other conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

During the SSEP procedure, electrodes are attached to different areas of the arms and legs along the nerve pathway to the brain, as well as on the scalp. Once in place, small electrical currents are applied to the skin in the targeted area. The electrodes then record the body's nerve responses to these currents. Responses are analyzed by a special computer and then further interpreted by your doctor.

SSEP's demonstrate the function of the nerve fibers, rather than the anatomical structure. Thus, patients with persistent complaints, especially radicular symptoms, yet with negative findings on X-ray, CT or MRI will often exhibit positive sensory nerve deficits with SSEP testing.

SSEP's will help in determining the segmental level of the abnormality, allowing the treating physician to be selective in the level of care.

SSEP aids in the evaluation of:

SSEP Indications:

Testicular Ultrasound

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Thyroid Ultrasound

A thyroid ultrasound produces images of the thyroid gland in patients with swelling or dysfunction, such as a lump, cancer, Grave's disease, hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's disease. The thyroid often becomes enlarged or inflamed as a result of these conditions, which may require regular monitoring.

Lumps and masses commonly develop in patients who have undergone radiation therapy, so these patients may be screened with a thyroid ultrasound.


Transcranial Color Doppler Imaging (Available Soon)

A transcranial Doppler is a noninvasive imaging procedure that documents the flow of blood through cerebral arteries and veins. This exam is often performed to determine a patient's risk for a transient ischemic attack (stroke) or to monitor patients with sickle cell disease.

During this procedure, a transducer is moved across the base of the skull to produce images of the blood vessels through sound waves. The speed of blood as it flows through the brain is highlighted through different colors on the images.


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