, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 447-453
Date: 28 Apr 2011

Comparison of the Full Outline of UnResponsiveness and Glasgow Liege Scale/Glasgow Coma Scale in an Intensive Care Unit Population

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Abstract

Background

The Full Outline of UnResponsiveness (FOUR) has been proposed as an alternative for the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)/Glasgow Liège Scale (GLS) in the evaluation of consciousness in severely brain-damaged patients. We compared the FOUR and GLS/GCS in intensive care unit patients who were admitted in a comatose state.

Methods

FOUR and GLS evaluations were performed in randomized order in 176 acutely (<1 month) brain-damaged patients. GLS scores were transformed in GCS scores by removing the GLS brainstem component. Inter-rater agreement was assessed in 20% of the studied population (N = 35). A logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, and etiology was performed to assess the link between the studied scores and the outcome 3 months after injury (N = 136).

Results

GLS/GCS verbal component was scored 1 in 146 patients, among these 131 were intubated. We found that the inter-rater reliability was good for the FOUR score, the GLS/GCS. FOUR, GLS/GCS total scores predicted functional outcome with and without adjustment for age and etiology. 71 patients were considered as being in a vegetative/unresponsive state based on the GLS/GCS. The FOUR score identified 8 of these 71 patients as being minimally conscious given that these patients showed visual pursuit.

Conclusions

The FOUR score is a valid tool with good inter-rater reliability that is comparable to the GLS/GCS in predicting outcome. It offers the advantage to be performable in intubated patients and to identify non-verbal signs of consciousness by assessing visual pursuit, and hence minimal signs of consciousness (11% in this study), not assessed by GLS/GCS scales.

Marie-Aurélie Bruno and Didier Ledoux contributed equally to this study.