Sensory Evoked Potentials in Coma and Brain Death
Sensory evoked potentials recorded from scalp electrodes represent electrical events generated along the sensory pathways. Thus, they provide data about the functions of specific areas of the nervous system in a noninvasive manner to determine the locus of alterations in sensory pathways. For example, changes in auditory brainstem response can localize abnormahties in neural functioning to several different areas of the brainstem. This paper describes the current experience using evoked potentials as objective measures of the level of neural function in comatose patients and their prognostic value in predicting recovery. The common denominator of measurement of sensory evoked potentials is usually the latency and, in some instances, the amplitudes of the various subcomponents or waves comprising an evoked potential, and defining if these measures are within normal limits.
KeywordsGlasgow Coma Scale Head Trauma Brain Death Visual Evoke Potential Auditory Brainstem Response
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