Testing Information for VEP, BAEP, and SSEP

Before Your Test

Prepare for your test as instructed. Shower or bathe, and wash and dry your hair. But don’t use lotion, oil, powder, or hairstyling products. Your skin and hair should be clean and free of excess oil. Wear loose clothes and be aware you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. Your testing may last from 30 minutes to 4 hours. This depends on how many tests you’re having. Be sure to allow extra time to check-in.

Let The Technologist Know

For your safety and for the success of your test, tell the technologist:

  • If you are allergic to any medications
  • What medications you take

You may also be asked questions about your overall health.

During The Test

Testing is done in a quiet room. The technologist will explain how your test or tests will be done.

Visual Evoked Potential (VEP)

You will sit a few feet from a screen. The technologist will attach small metal disks (electrodes) to your scalp. This will be done using water-based gel or paste, or glue. You will be asked to gaze at a dot at the center of the screen. With a patch over one eye, you will watch a checkerboard pattern reversing on the screen. The test will then be repeated with the patch over your other eye.

Learn More About Visual Evoked Potential Testing

Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential (BAEP)

The technologist will attach electrodes to your head and on or behind your ears with gel or paste. You will then wear headphones. You will hear clicking sounds or tones first in one ear, then in the other. You will also hear a constant noise through the headphones.

Learn More About Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential Testing

Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP)

This test will be done while you lie on a bed. Electrodes will be placed on parts of your body, such as your head, spine, arms, or legs. The technologist will apply mild electrical currents to the nerves in your wrists or ankles. You may feel your muscles twitch. But know that the test won’t harm you.

Learn More About Somatosensory Evoked Potential Testing

After Your Test

Before you leave, all electrodes will be removed. You can then return to your normal routine. If you took medication to help you relax for any test, arrange to have someone drive you home. Your doctor will follow up with you regarding the results.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact your local Brain and Spine Specialists office to learn more about your upcoming VEP, BAEP, or SSEP test.