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Expert Rev Neurother. 2010 Nov;10(11):1725-31. doi: 10.1586/ern.10.148.

Assessment and detection of pain in noncommunicative severely brain-injured patients.

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  • 1Coma Science Group, Cyclotron Research Centre, Sart Tilman, B30, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium.


Detecting pain in severely brain-injured patients recovering from coma represents a real challenge. Patients with disorders of consciousness are unable to consistently or reliably communicate their feelings and potential perception of pain. However, recent studies suggest that patients in a minimally conscious state can experience pain to some extent. Pain monitoring in these patients is hence of medical and ethical importance. In this article, we will focus on the possible use of behavioral scales for the assessment and detection of pain in noncommunicative patients.

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