Objective: We have assessed a technique to stimulate the intracranial hypoglossal nerve with ease and reproducibility by using magnetic coils (MCs) and to detect a reliable site of excitation in animal experiments in order to establish a method to evaluate the motor pathway to lingual muscles. Methods: We recorded the motor responses from the lingual muscles of 5 adult cats under general anesthesia by magnetic and electrical stimulation of the intracranial hypoglossal nerves. Figure of 8 and round MCs were used to investigate the optimal position and direction to evoke the motor responses. Results: The round MC was useful for cortical stimulation. The figure of 8 coil, positioned in the back of the head of the examined side, parallel to the cervical spine, was essential for stimulation of the intracranial hypoglossal nerve. Analysis of the latencies, and the observation that the motor responses disappeared after transection of the nerves at the exit of the hypoglossal canal, demonstrated that the site of the excitation is at the exit of the hypoglossal canal. Conclusion: Magnetic stimulation using a figure of 8 coil can elicit tongue motor responses with ease and reliable reproducibility, stimulating the hypoglossal nerve at the exit of the hypoglossal canal.
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