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Crit Care Med. 1990 Apr;18(4):363-8.

Early prediction of outcome from cerebral trauma by somatosensory evoked potentials.

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Department of Critical Care Medicine, Auckland Hospital, New Zealand.


The prognostic value of short-latency somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) during the first 4 days after severe head injury was studied in a group of 100 ICU patients. There was a strong association between the presence of bilateral cortical potentials and a good recovery or moderate disability 6 months after injury. In contrast, the bilateral or unilateral absence of cortical potential was associated with severe disability, persistent vegetative state, or death in a high percentage of patients. A reliable prediction of outcomes was obtained from SEP recorded within 24 h of head injury. Predictive accuracy was not influenced by the time of recording or cumulative analysis of consecutive daily SEP over the first 4 days after injury. Short-latency SEP can provide a reliable and accurate prognosis for sedated and curarized patients, and can have an important role in the management and triage of patients with severe head injury who are undergoing intensive therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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