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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Neurological Disorders - Neuroscience - Physiology

Life or Death: Prognostic Value of a Resting EEG with Regards to Survival in Patients in Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States
Published: Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Author: Alexander A. Fingelkurts et al.

by Alexander A. Fingelkurts, Andrew A. Fingelkurts, Sergio Bagnato, Cristina Boccagni, Giuseppe Galardi

Objective

To investigate the potentially prognostic value of a resting state electroencephalogram (EEG) with regards to the clinical outcome from vegetative and minimally conscious states (VS and MCS) in terms of survival six months after a brain injury.

Methods

We quantified a dynamic repertoire of EEG oscillations in resting condition with eyes closed in patients in VS and MCS. The exact composition of EEG oscillations was assessed by analysing the probability-classification of short-term EEG spectral patterns.

Results

Results demonstrated that (a) the diversity and the variability of EEG for Non-Survivors were significantly lower than for Survivors; and (b) a higher probability of mostly delta and slow-theta oscillations occurring either alone or in combination were found during the first assessment for patients with a bad outcome (i.e., those who died) within six months of an injury compared to patients who survived. At the same time, patients with a good outcome (i.e., those who survived) after six months post-injury had a higher probability of mostly fast-theta and alpha oscillations occurring either alone or in combination during the first assessment when compared to patients who died within six months of an injury.

Conclusions

Resting state EEGs properly analysed may have a potentially prognostic value with regards to the outcome from VS or MCS in terms of survival six months after a brain injury.

Significance

This work may have implications for clinical care, rehabilitative programmes and medical–legal decisions for patients with impaired consciousness states after being in a coma due to acute brain injuries.

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