Intraoperative Neurophysiology (ION) represents the quintessence of modern Neurosurgery, expanding the traditional concept of stereotactic and functional neurosurgery towards the broader view of neurophysiology-assisted Neurosurgery. It is, undoubtedly, an emerging field within Neurosurgery.
On December 14-16 2017 the second edition of the EANS Symposium “Intraoperative Neurophysiology in Neurosurgery” was held in Verona, Italy. This year, the event was also under the auspices of the WFNS Neuromonitoring Committee and the International Society for Intraoperative Neurophysiology.
The main themes of the Symposium were: Innovation, Controversies and Future Perspectives. A distinguished international faculty guided the discussion through lectures, breakfast sessions and round tables, bridging neurosurgical and neurophysiological expertise.
Novel neurophysiological techniques were presented, such those to monitor the lower brainstem, distinguish between motor and sensory spinal cord mapping, and perform cutting-edge subcortical mapping during asleep and awake surgery.
Controversies on remote monitoring, automated neuromonitoring devices, medico-legal aspects, education and training in ION were discussed in open round tables.
A pearl of this year Symposium was the truly international - not just European - attendance, which remarkably extended the discussion beyond the borders of the “old continent”.
ION will not escape the process of globalization, but financial and professional constraints significantly limit the implementation of ION in low and middle income countries. This was extensively addressed throughout the three days of the symposium. In particular, a joint WFNS/ISIN session focused on the issue of global neuromonitoring, reporting the state of the art of neuromonitoring in different areas of the world: from Asia (Korea, Japan, India) to North America (US, Canada), from Latin America to Europe and Africa. Current and future challenges for developing this field within the global neurosurgical community were presented.
The event was very successful with the participation of over 200 delegates from all five continents and was also the occasion for a meeting of the WFNS Neuromonitoring Committee, which will continue activity in 2018 with educational courses in India (Kolkata, February), Nigeria (Abuja, July) and Israel (October).
On behalf of the WFNS Neuromonitoring Committee
Francesco Sala, MD (Committee Chair)