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May 1983

Brain-stem Auditory Evoked Potentials and Early Somatosensory Evoked Potentials in Neurointensively Treated Comatose Children

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Paediatrics (Drs Lütschg, Pfenninger, and Vassella) and Neurology (Dr Ludin), University of Berne, Switzerland.

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(5):421-426. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140310003001

• Forty-three comatose children treated by invasive neurointensive care were examined by brain-stem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). The evoked potential (EP) results obtained were reviewed in conjunction with the clinical outcome. As a BAEP criterion, the V-I interpeak latency and, as an SEP criterion, the central conduction time (N20-N14) latency) were measured. A loss of BAEP and SEP components portended a poor prognosis. On the other hand, latency prolongations were seen in a third of patients who made a complete recovery. However, the SEP and BAEP have proved themselves as reliable methods in the judgment of the clinical state and the prognosis of intensively treated children with a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or a head injury. The measurement of both BAEPs and SEPs was a more reliable prognostic aid than either EP measurement alone.

(Am J Dis Child 1983;137:421-426)