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March 1981

EEG Prognostication in Drug-related Alpha Coma

Author Affiliations

First Department of Internal Medicine Hamamatsu University School of Medicine 3600 Handa-cho, Hamamatsu 431-31 Japan

Arch Neurol. 1981;38(3):200. doi:10.1001/archneur.1981.00510030094019

To the Editor.—  Alpha coma has been well described in postanoxic encephalopathy and brainstem stroke1.2 and has generally been considered to have a serious prognostic implication. However, a striking exception is presented by the occurrence of alpha coma in acute drug intoxication.3 The following patient recovered completely from drug-induced alpha coma.

Report of a Case.—  A 41-year-old man was brought to the emergency room at 3:15 PM of Oct 4, 1979. He had attempted suicide on the day of admission, swallowing an overdose of tranquilizers. On arrival at our hospital, he was in deep coma, as well as cyanotic in the absence of spontaneous respiration. Treatment consisted of immediate resuscitative measures for respiratory failure and support of blood pressure and ventilation. There was no response to painful stimulation. The pupils were extremely miotic and failed to react to light. The patient remained comatose for more than 20 hours. Then

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