Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 431, Supplement 6, pp R289–R290 | Cite as

Brainstem auditory evoked potentials and somatosensory evoked potentials in prediction of posttraumatic coma in children

  • Dušan Butinar
  • Andreja Gostiša


Follow-up brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) and somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) studies were performed within 72 hours after admission in 127 children with severe head injury (Glasgow Coma Scale score of ≤8) in order to predictquo ad vitam outcome of posttraumatic coma. Outcomes were categorised as brain death and survival. On first assessment 50 comatose children had normal BAEPs and SEPs. 78% of them survived and 22% deteriorated and died. 45 had abnormal findings. 69% of them improved and survived whilst 31 % deteriorated and died. 32 children did not have recordable BAEPs and SEPs. All of them died. Thus, comatose children with normal EP studies have in 78% good prognosis and a bad outcome can be reliably predicted.

Key words

Children Head injury Coma Evoked Potentials Prognosis 


  1. 1.
    Allison T, Hume AL (1981) A comparative analysis of short-latency somatosensory evoked potentials in man, monkey, cat, and rat. Exp Neurol 72:592–611CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Goodwin SR, Friedman WA, Bellefleur M (1981) Is it time to use evoked potentials to predict outcome in comatose children and adults? Critical Care Medicine 19: 518–524Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rumpl E (1987) Craniocerebral Trauma. In: da Silva FL (ed) Electroencephalography. Basic principles, Clinical Applications and Related Fields. Second Ed. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore-Munich, pp347–367Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shaywitz BA, Rothstein P, Venes JL (1980) Monitoring and management of increased intracranial pressure in Reye's syndrome: results in 29 children. Pediatrics 66: 198–204PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Torner JC (1992) Outcome evaluation in acute neurological injury. Curr Opin Neurol & Neurosurg 5:831–839Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vapalahti M, Luukkonen M, Puranen M, (1986) Early clinical signs and prognosis in children with brain injuries. Ann Clin Res 18 (Suppl 47): 37PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zuccarello M, Facco E, Zampieri P, (1985) Severe head injury in children: Early prognosis and outcome. Childs Nerv Syst 1: 158CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dušan Butinar
    • 1
  • Andreja Gostiša
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Clinical NeurophysiologyUniversity Medical CenterLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric SurgeryUniversity Medical CenterLjubljanaSlovenia

Personalised recommendations