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Prediction of Poor Outcome in Anoxic–Ischemic Coma

Zandbergen, E. G. J*; Haan, R. J. de; Koelman, J. H. T. M*; Hijdra, A*

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: September 2000 - Volume 17 - Issue 5 - p 498-501
Review Article

Summary Most patients who are comatose a few hours after a period of global cerebral ischemia have a poor prognosis. In a series of studies selected with strict criteria for study design, the median prevalence of death or survival in a vegetative state was 78% (range, 56–90%) (Zandbergen et al., 1998). Most nonsurvivors die within the first weeks, not from brain damage, but from cardiac or pulmonary complications. Uncertainty about treatment and nontreatment decisions is therefore most critical during this period. To reduce this uncertainty among caregivers, and the related anxiety among family members, early identification of patients with such a poor prognosis is desirable.

*Departments of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, and †Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. E. G. J. Zandbergen, Academic Medical Center, P.O. Box 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Copyright © 2000 American Clinical Neurophysiology Society