The use of evoked potentials in the management of patients with severe cerebral trauma

Author(s): De Weerd AW, Groeneveld C


Evoked potentials (SEP and BAEP) were measured daily in 18 patients who had suffered severe craniocerebral trauma, but could not be examined neurologically due to a barbiturate coma or neuromuscular blockade. The BAEP had only limited value as an indicator of the prognosis for these patients. The N20 component of the SEP appeared to be more valuable in this respect. Serial registration of the EPs was also of prognostic significance and proved to play an important role in the decision to stop or continue the barbiturate coma. In some patients serial measurement of the EPs also gave an indication of the presence of late posttraumatic intracranial mass lesions. EPs are useful for the monitoring of cerebral functions in patients who have suffered a contusion of the brain and can no longer be assessed clinically.

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