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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Feb 2019 - 8 Feb 2019

2019 Apr

Clin Neurophysiol



Cutaneous silent periods – Part 2: Update on pathophysiology and clinical utility.


Kofler M, Leis AA, Valls-Solé J
Clin Neurophysiol. 2019 Apr; 130(4):604-615.
PMID: 30704842.


Testing of exteroceptive electromyographic modulation of ongoing voluntary muscle activity is of increasing interest as a diagnostic tool in clinical neurophysiology. The cutaneous silent period (CSP) is a robust and reproducible nociceptive EMG suppression, mediated at the spinal level by small-diameter A-delta afferents. The techniques and physiological principles of CSP testing, which are a fundamental prerequisite for a valid and thoughtful clinical application, are reviewed separately in part 1 (Kofler et al., 2019). This comprehensive review surveys the literature on pathophysiological conditions in which CSPs have been reported, and aims at a critical overview on the clinical utility of CSP testing. The most useful clinical applications seem to be the functional diagnostics of intramedullary, in particular centromedullary, dysfunctions, and the assessment of small fiber neuropathies, in particular those affecting A-delta fibers. CSPs have in addition been studied in a variety of movement disorders and in neuropathic pain and other painful conditions, including fibromyalgia.