Default network connectivity reflects the level of consciousness in non-communicative brain-damaged patients.
Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; Noirhomme, Quentin ; Tshibanda, Luaba et al
in Brain : A Journal of Neurology (2010), 133(Pt 1), 161-71
The 'default network' is defined as a set of areas, encompassing posterior-cingulate/precuneus, anterior cingulate/mesiofrontal cortex and temporo-parietal junctions, that show more activity at rest than ... [more ▼]
The 'default network' is defined as a set of areas, encompassing posterior-cingulate/precuneus, anterior cingulate/mesiofrontal cortex and temporo-parietal junctions, that show more activity at rest than during attention-demanding tasks. Recent studies have shown that it is possible to reliably identify this network in the absence of any task, by resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity analyses in healthy volunteers. However, the functional significance of these spontaneous brain activity fluctuations remains unclear. The aim of this study was to test if the integrity of this resting-state connectivity pattern in the default network would differ in different pathological alterations of consciousness. Fourteen non-communicative brain-damaged patients and 14 healthy controls participated in the study. Connectivity was investigated using probabilistic independent component analysis, and an automated template-matching component selection approach. Connectivity in all default network areas was found to be negatively correlated with the degree of clinical consciousness impairment, ranging from healthy controls and locked-in syndrome to minimally conscious, vegetative then coma patients. Furthermore, precuneus connectivity was found to be significantly stronger in minimally conscious patients as compared with unconscious patients. Locked-in syndrome patient's default network connectivity was not significantly different from controls. Our results show that default network connectivity is decreased in severely brain-damaged patients, in proportion to their degree of consciousness impairment. Future prospective studies in a larger patient population are needed in order to evaluate the prognostic value of the presented methodology. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 110 (22 ULg)
Disorders of consciousness: Moving from passive to resting state and active paradigms
Bruno, Marie-Aurélie ; Soddu, Andrea ; Demertzi, Athina et al
in Cognitive Neuroscience (2010), 1(1), 193203
Following coma, some patients will recover wakefulness without signs of consciousness (i.e., vegetative state) or may show nonreflexive movements but with no ability for functional communication (i.e ... [more ▼]
Following coma, some patients will recover wakefulness without signs of consciousness (i.e., vegetative state) or may show nonreflexive movements but with no ability for functional communication (i.e., minimally conscious state). Currently, there remains a high rate of misdiagnosis of the vegetative state. The increasing use of fMRI and EEG tools permits the clinical characterization of these patients to be improved. We first discuss “resting metabolism” and “passive activation” paradigms, used in neuroimaging and evoked potential studies, which merely identify neural activation reflecting “automatic” processing—that is, occurring without the patient’s willful intervention. Secondly, we present an alternative approach consisting of instructing subjects to imagine well-defined sensorymotor or cognitive-mental actions. This strategy reflects volitional neural activation and, hence, witnesses awareness. Finally, we present results on blood-oxgen-level-dependent “default mode network”/resting state studies that might be a promising tool in the diagnosis of these challenging patients. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 71 (10 ULg)
Primary diffuse leptomeningeal gliomatosis: an autopsy case and review of the literature
Somja, Joan ; Boly, Mélanie ; Sadzot, Bernard et al
in Acta Neurologica Belgica (2010), 110(4), 325-33
We report a case of primary diffuse leptomeningeal gliomatosis (PDLG) in a 76-year-old male presenting with confusion, dysarthria, diplopia, lumbal pain and headaches of recent onset. Neurological ... [more ▼]
We report a case of primary diffuse leptomeningeal gliomatosis (PDLG) in a 76-year-old male presenting with confusion, dysarthria, diplopia, lumbal pain and headaches of recent onset. Neurological examination revealed nuchal rigidity and bilateral sixth cranial nerve palsy. The cerebrospinal fluid showed a marked hyperproteinorachia (4711 mg/L) and mild cytorachia (5-10 leucocytes/mm3) with a few atypical lymphoid cells. On admission, brain CT scan and MRI demonstrated diffuse and nodular leptomeningeal contrast enhancement predominant at the skull base and several osteolytic lesions in the right parietal bone. Extensive serological studies for infectious, autoimmune or neoplastic diseases were negative. The work-up diagnosis was neurosarcoidosis or multiple meningeal and osseous metastases of an unknown primary cancer. Surgical biopsy of the right parietal bone lesion showed only fibrous tissue with no evidence of tumour or inflammation. The patient was treated with high dose corticosteroids but its neurological status progressively worsened and he died of aspiration pneumonia 35 days after admission. Post-mortem examination revealed a PDLG, a rare fatal tumour with about 60 cases reported. PDGL is characterized by the diffusion of neoplastic glial cells throughout the leptomeninges without evidence of a primary intra-parenchymal lesion. Recognition of this rare brain tumour is important as recent reports suggest that radiotherapy and chemotherapy can improve patient survival. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 68 (21 ULg)
Breakdown of within- and between-network resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity during propofol-induced loss of consciousness.
Boveroux, Pierre ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie et al
in Anesthesiology (2010), 113(5), 1038-53
BACKGROUND: Mechanisms of anesthesia-induced loss of consciousness remain poorly understood. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging allows investigating whole-brain connectivity changes ... [more ▼]
BACKGROUND: Mechanisms of anesthesia-induced loss of consciousness remain poorly understood. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging allows investigating whole-brain connectivity changes during pharmacological modulation of the level of consciousness. METHODS: Low-frequency spontaneous blood oxygen level-dependent fluctuations were measured in 19 healthy volunteers during wakefulness, mild sedation, deep sedation with clinical unconsciousness, and subsequent recovery of consciousness. RESULTS: Propofol-induced decrease in consciousness linearly correlates with decreased corticocortical and thalamocortical connectivity in frontoparietal networks (i.e., default- and executive-control networks). Furthermore, during propofol-induced unconsciousness, a negative correlation was identified between thalamic and cortical activity in these networks. Finally, negative correlations between default network and lateral frontoparietal cortices activity, present during wakefulness, decreased proportionally to propofol-induced loss of consciousness. In contrast, connectivity was globally preserved in low-level sensory cortices, (i.e., in auditory and visual networks across sedation stages). This was paired with preserved thalamocortical connectivity in these networks. Rather, waning of consciousness was associated with a loss of cross-modal interactions between visual and auditory networks. CONCLUSIONS: Our results shed light on the functional significance of spontaneous brain activity fluctuations observed in functional magnetic resonance imaging. They suggest that propofol-induced unconsciousness could be linked to a breakdown of cerebral temporal architecture that modifies both within- and between-network connectivity and thus prevents communication between low-level sensory and higher-order frontoparietal cortices, thought to be necessary for perception of external stimuli. They emphasize the importance of thalamocortical connectivity in higher-order cognitive brain networks in the genesis of conscious perception. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 348 (12 ULg)
Neuroimaging after coma.
Tshibanda, Luaba ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; Boly, Mélanie et al
in Neuroradiology (2010), 52(1), 15-24
Following coma, some patients will recover wakefulness without signs of consciousness (only showing reflex movements, i.e., the vegetative state) or may show non-reflex movements but remain without ... [more ▼]
Following coma, some patients will recover wakefulness without signs of consciousness (only showing reflex movements, i.e., the vegetative state) or may show non-reflex movements but remain without functional communication (i.e., the minimally conscious state). Currently, there remains a high rate of misdiagnosis of the vegetative state (Schnakers et. al. BMC Neurol, 9:35, 8) and the clinical and electrophysiological markers of outcome from the vegetative and minimally conscious states remain unsatisfactory. This should incite clinicians to use multimodal assessment to detect objective signs of consciousness and validate para-clinical prognostic markers in these challenging patients. This review will focus on advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy, diffusion tensor imaging, and functional MRI (fMRI studies in both "activation" and "resting state" conditions) that were recently introduced in the assessment of patients with chronic disorders of consciousness. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 51 (6 ULg)
Visual fixation in the vegetative state: an observational case series PET study.
Bruno, Marie-Aurélie ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; Schnakers, Caroline et al
in BMC Neurology (2010), 10
BACKGROUND: Assessment of visual fixation is commonly used in the clinical examination of patients with disorders of consciousness. However, different international guidelines seem to disagree whether ... [more ▼]
BACKGROUND: Assessment of visual fixation is commonly used in the clinical examination of patients with disorders of consciousness. However, different international guidelines seem to disagree whether fixation is compatible with the diagnosis of the vegetative state (i.e., represents "automatic" subcortical processing) or is a sufficient sign of consciousness and higher order cortical processing. METHODS: We here studied cerebral metabolism in ten patients with chronic post-anoxic encephalopathy and 39 age-matched healthy controls. Five patients were in a vegetative state (without fixation) and five presented visual fixation but otherwise showed all criteria typical of the vegetative state. Patients were matched for age, etiology and time since insult and were followed by repeated Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) assessments for at least 1 year. Sustained visual fixation was considered as present when the eyes refixated a moving target for more than 2 seconds as defined by CRS-R criteria. RESULTS: Patients without fixation showed metabolic dysfunction in a widespread fronto-parietal cortical network (with only sparing of the brainstem and cerebellum) which was not different from the brain function seen in patients with visual fixation. Cortico-cortical functional connectivity with visual cortex showed no difference between both patient groups. Recovery rates did not differ between patients without or with fixation (none of the patients showed good outcome). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that sustained visual fixation in (non-traumatic) disorders of consciousness does not necessarily reflect consciousness and higher order cortical brain function. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 29 (4 ULg)
Functional Neuroimaging Approaches to the Changing Borders of Consciousness
Noirhomme, Quentin ; Soddu, Andrea ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey et al
in Journal of Psychophysiology (2010), 24(2), 68-75
The bedside diagnosis of vegetative and minimally conscious patients is extremely challenging, and prediction of individual long-term outcome remains difficult. State-of the art neuroimaging methods could ... [more ▼]
The bedside diagnosis of vegetative and minimally conscious patients is extremely challenging, and prediction of individual long-term outcome remains difficult. State-of the art neuroimaging methods could help disentangle complex cases and offer new prognostic criteria. These methods can be divided into to three categories: First, new anatomical MRI neuroimaging methods, like diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) or spectroscopy, and passive functional imaging methods (looking at the brain’s activation induced by external stimuli), could provide new diagnostic and prognostic markers. Second, neuroimaging methods based on active collaboration from the patient could help to detect clinically unnoticed signs of consciousness. Third, developments in brain-computer interfaces based on EEG, functional MRI, or EMG offer communication possibilities in brain-damaged patients who can neither verbally nor nonverbally express their thoughts or wishes. These new approaches raise important issues not only from a clinical and ethical perspective (i.e., patients’ diagnosis, prognosis and management) but also from a neuroscientific standpoint, as they enrich our current understanding of the emergence and function of the conscious human mind. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 34 (9 ULg)
The nociception coma scale: A new tool to assess nociception in disorders of consciousness.
Schnakers, Caroline ; Chatelle, Camille ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey et al
in Pain (2010), 148
Assessing behavioral responses to nociception is difficult in severely brain-injured patients recovering from coma. We here propose a new scale developed for assessing nociception in vegetative (VS) and ... [more ▼]
Assessing behavioral responses to nociception is difficult in severely brain-injured patients recovering from coma. We here propose a new scale developed for assessing nociception in vegetative (VS) and minimally conscious (MCS) coma survivors, the Nociception Coma Scale (NCS), and explore its concurrent validity, inter-rater agreement and sensitivity. Concurrent validity was assessed by analyzing behavioral responses of 48 post-comatose patients to a noxious stimulation (pressure applied to the fingernail) (28 VS and 20 MCS; age range 20-82years; 17 of traumatic etiology). Patients' were assessed using the NCS and four other scales employed in non-communicative patients: the 'Neonatal Infant Pain Scale' (NIPS) and the 'Faces, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability' (FLACC) used in newborns; and the 'Pain Assessment In Advanced Dementia Scale' (PAINAD) and the 'Checklist of Non-verbal Pain Indicators' (CNPI) used in dementia. For the establishment of inter-rater agreement, fifteen patients were concurrently assessed by two examiners. Concurrent validity, assessed by Spearman rank order correlations between the NCS and the four other validated scales, was good. Cohen's kappa analyses revealed a good to excellent inter-rater agreement for the NCS total and subscore measures, indicating that the scale yields reproducible findings across examiners. Finally, a significant difference between NCS total scores was observed as a function of diagnosis (i.e., VS or MCS). The NCS constitutes a sensitive clinical tool for assessing nociception in severely brain-injured patients. This scale constitutes the first step to a better management of patients recovering from coma. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 119 (9 ULg)
Neurophysiological correlates of hypnotic analgesia
Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; Boly, Mélanie ; Laureys, Steven et al
in Contemporary Hypnosis (2009), 26(1), 15-23
This short review describes recent advances in understanding hypnotic modulation of pain. Our current understanding of pain perception is followed by a critical review of the hypnotic analgesia studies ... [more ▼]
This short review describes recent advances in understanding hypnotic modulation of pain. Our current understanding of pain perception is followed by a critical review of the hypnotic analgesia studies using EEG, evoked potential and functional imaging methodologies. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 33 (6 ULg)
Reaching across the abyss: recent advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging and their potential relevance to disorders of consciousness
Soddu, Andrea ; Boly, Mélanie ; et al
in Progress in Brain Research (2009), 177
Disorders of consciousness (DOC) raise profound scientific, clinical, ethical, and philosophical issues. Growing knowledge on fundamental principles of brain organization in healthy individuals offers new ... [more ▼]
Disorders of consciousness (DOC) raise profound scientific, clinical, ethical, and philosophical issues. Growing knowledge on fundamental principles of brain organization in healthy individuals offers new opportunities for a better understanding of residual brain function in DOCs. We here discuss new perspectives derived from a recently proposed scheme of brain organization underlying consciousness in healthy individuals. In this scheme, thalamo-cortical networks can be divided into two, often antagonistic, global systems: (i) a system of externally oriented, sensory-motor networks (the "extrinsic" system); and (ii) a system of inward-oriented networks (the "intrinsic" or default system). According to this framework, four distinct mental states would be possible that could be relevant for understanding DOCs. In normal healthy volunteers and locked-in syndrome patients, a state of high functionality of both the extrinsic and intrinsic or default systems is expected--associated with full awareness of environment and self. In this case, mental imagery tasks combined with fMRI can be used to detect covert awareness in patients that are unable to communicate. <br /> <br />According to the framework, two complementary states of system imbalance are also possible, in which one system is in a hyperfunctional state, while the other is hypoactive. Extrinsic system hyperfunction is expected to lead to a state of total sensory-motor "absorption" or "lost self." In contrast, intrinsic or default system hyperfunction is expected to lead to a state of complete detachment from the external world. A state where both extrinsic and intrinsic systems are hypofunctional is predicted to lead to markedly impaired consciousness as seen in DOCs. Finally, we review the potential use of ultra-slow fluctuations in BOLD signal as a tool for assessing the functional integrity of extrinsic and intrinsic systems during "resting state" fMRI acquisitions. In particular, we discuss the potential provided by assessment of these slow spontaneous BOLD fluctuations as a novel tool in assessing the cognitive state and chances of recovery from brain pathologies underlying DOCs. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 78 (7 ULg)
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging in coma survivors: promises and pitfalls.
TSHIBANDA, Luaba ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; et al
in Progress in Brain Research (2009), 177
The status of comatose patient is currently established on the basis of the patient-exhibited behaviors. Clinical assessment is subjective and, in 40% of patients, fails to distinguish vegetative state ... [more ▼]
The status of comatose patient is currently established on the basis of the patient-exhibited behaviors. Clinical assessment is subjective and, in 40% of patients, fails to distinguish vegetative state (VS) from minimally conscious states (MCS). The technologic advances of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have dramatically improved our understanding of these altered states of consciousness. The role of neuroimaging in coma survivors has increased beyond the simple evaluation of morphological abnormalities. The development of 1H-MR spectroscopy (MRS) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provide opportunity to evaluate processes that cannot be approached by current morphologic MRI sequences. They offer potentially unique insights into the histopathology of VS and MCS. The MRS is a powerful noninvasive imaging technique that enables the in vivo quantification of certain chemical compound or metabolites as N-acetylaspartate (NAA), Choline (Cho), and Creatine (Cr). These biomarkers explore neuronal integrity (NAA), cell membrane turnover (Cho), and cell energetic function (Cr). DTI is an effective and proved quantitative method for evaluating tissue integrity at microscopic level. It provides information about the microstructure and the architecture of tissues, especially the white matter. Various physical parameters can be extracted from this sequence: the fractional anisotropy (FA), a marker of white matter integrity; mean diffusivity (MD); and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) which can differentiate cytotoxic and vasogenic edema. The most prominent findings with MRS and DTI performed in traumatic brain-injured (TBI) patients in subacute phase are the reduction of the NAA/Cr ratio in posterior pons and the decrease of mean infratentorial and supratentorial FA except in posterior pons that enables to predict unfavorable outcome at 1 year from TBI with up to 86% sensitivity and 97% specificity. This review will focus on the interest of comatose patients MRI multimodal assessment with MRS and DTI. It will emphasize the advantages and pitfalls of these techniques in particular in predicting the coma survivors' outcome. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 30 (5 ULg)
Pain and non-pain processing during hypnosis: a thulium-YAG event-related fMRI study.
Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; Boly, Mélanie ; Balteau, Evelyne et al
in NeuroImage (2009), 47(3), 1047-54
The neural mechanisms underlying the antinociceptive effects of hypnosis still remain unclear. Using a parametric single-trial thulium-YAG laser fMRI paradigm, we assessed changes in brain activation and ... [more ▼]
The neural mechanisms underlying the antinociceptive effects of hypnosis still remain unclear. Using a parametric single-trial thulium-YAG laser fMRI paradigm, we assessed changes in brain activation and connectivity related to the hypnotic state as compared to normal wakefulness in 13 healthy volunteers. Behaviorally, a difference in subjective ratings was found between normal wakefulness and hypnotic state for both non-painful and painful intensity-matched stimuli applied to the left hand. In normal wakefulness, non-painful range stimuli activated brainstem, contralateral primary somatosensory (S1) and bilateral insular cortices. Painful stimuli activated additional areas encompassing thalamus, bilateral striatum, anterior cingulate (ACC), premotor and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. In hypnosis, intensity-matched stimuli in both the non-painful and painful range failed to elicit any cerebral activation. The interaction analysis identified that contralateral thalamus, bilateral striatum and ACC activated more in normal wakefulness compared to hypnosis during painful versus non-painful stimulation. Finally, we demonstrated hypnosis-related increases in functional connectivity between S1 and distant anterior insular and prefrontal cortices, possibly reflecting top-down modulation. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 147 (30 ULg)
Detecting consciousness in a total Locked-in syndrome: an active event related paradigm
Schnakers, Caroline ; ; et al
in Neurocase : Case Studies in Neuropsychology, Neuropsychiatry & Behavioural Neurology (2009), 25
Total locked-in syndrome is characterized by tetraplegia, anarthria and paralysis of eye motility. In this study, consciousness was detected in a 21-year-old woman who presented a total locked-in syndrome ... [more ▼]
Total locked-in syndrome is characterized by tetraplegia, anarthria and paralysis of eye motility. In this study, consciousness was detected in a 21-year-old woman who presented a total locked-in syndrome after a basilar artery thrombosis (49 days post-injury) using an active event-related paradigm. The patient was presented sequences of names containing the patient's own name and other names. The patient was instructed to count her own name or to count another target name. Similar to 4 age- and gender-matched healthy controls, the P3 response recorded for the voluntarily counted own name was larger than while passively listening. This P3 response was observed 14 days before the first behavioral signs of consciousness. This study shows that our active event-related paradigm allowed to identify voluntary brain activity in a patient who would behaviorally be diagnosed as comatose. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 74 (9 ULg)
Functional connectivity in the default network during resting state is preserved in a vegetative but not in a brain dead patient.
Boly, Mélanie ; Tshibanda, Luaba ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey et al
in Human Brain Mapping (2009), 30(8), 2393-400
Recent studies on spontaneous fluctuations in the functional MRI blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in awake healthy subjects showed the presence of coherent fluctuations among functionally ... [more ▼]
Recent studies on spontaneous fluctuations in the functional MRI blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in awake healthy subjects showed the presence of coherent fluctuations among functionally defined neuroanatomical networks. However, the functional significance of these spontaneous BOLD fluctuations remains poorly understood. By means of 3 T functional MRI, we demonstrate absent cortico-thalamic BOLD functional connectivity (i.e. between posterior cingulate/precuneal cortex and medial thalamus), but preserved cortico-cortical connectivity within the default network in a case of vegetative state (VS) studied 2.5 years following cardio-respiratory arrest, as documented by extensive behavioral and paraclinical assessments. In the VS patient, as in age-matched controls, anticorrelations could also be observed between posterior cingulate/precuneus and a previously identified task-positive cortical network. Both correlations and anticorrelations were significantly reduced in VS as compared to controls. A similar approach in a brain dead patient did not show any such long-distance functional connectivity. We conclude that some slow coherent BOLD fluctuations previously identified in healthy awake human brain can be found in alive but unaware patients, and are thus unlikely to be uniquely due to ongoing modifications of conscious thoughts. Future studies are needed to give a full characterization of default network connectivity in the VS patients population. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 85 (20 ULg)
Different beliefs about pain perception in the vegetative and minimally conscious states: a European survey of medical and paramedical professionals.
Demertzi, Athina ; Schnakers, Caroline ; Ledoux, Didier et al
in Progress in Brain Research (2009), 177
Pain management in severely brain-damaged patients constitutes a clinical and ethical stake. At the bedside, assessing the presence of pain and suffering is challenging due to both patients' physical ... [more ▼]
Pain management in severely brain-damaged patients constitutes a clinical and ethical stake. At the bedside, assessing the presence of pain and suffering is challenging due to both patients' physical condition and inherent limitations of clinical assessment. Neuroimaging studies support the existence of distinct cerebral responses to noxious stimulation in brain death, vegetative state, and minimally conscious state. We here provide results from a European survey on 2059 medical and paramedical professionals' beliefs on possible pain perception in patients with disorders of consciousness. To the question "Do you think that patients in a vegetative state can feel pain?," 68% of the interviewed paramedical caregivers (n=538) and 56% of medical doctors (n=1166) answered "yes" (no data on exact profession in 17% of total sample). Logistic regression analysis showed that paramedical professionals, religious caregivers, and older caregivers reported more often that vegetative patients may experience pain. Following professional background, religion was the highest predictor of caregivers' opinion: 64% of religious (n=1009; 850 Christians) versus 52% of nonreligious respondents (n=830) answered positively (missing data on religion in 11% of total sample). To the question "Do you think that patients in a minimally conscious state can feel pain?" nearly all interviewed caregivers answered "yes" (96% of the medical doctors and 97% of the paramedical caregivers). Women and religious caregivers reported more often that minimally conscious patients may experience pain. These results are discussed in terms of existing definitions of pain and suffering, the remaining uncertainty on the clinical assessment of pain as a subjective first-person experience and recent functional neuroimaging findings on nociceptive processing in disorders of consciousness. In our view, more research is needed to increase our understanding of residual sensation in vegetative and minimally conscious patients and to propose evidence-based medical guidelines for the management of possible pain perception and suffering in these vulnerable patient populations. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 45 (11 ULg)
Diagnostic accuracy of the vegetative and minimally conscious state: clinical consensus versus standardized neurobehavioral assessment.
Schnakers, Caroline ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; et al
in BMC Neurology (2009), 9
BACKGROUND: Previously published studies have reported that up to 43% of patients with disorders of consciousness are erroneously assigned a diagnosis of vegetative state (VS). However, no recent studies ... [more ▼]
BACKGROUND: Previously published studies have reported that up to 43% of patients with disorders of consciousness are erroneously assigned a diagnosis of vegetative state (VS). However, no recent studies have investigated the accuracy of this grave clinical diagnosis. In this study, we compared consensus-based diagnoses of VS and MCS to those based on a well-established standardized neurobehavioral rating scale, the JFK Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R). METHODS: We prospectively followed 103 patients (55 +/- 19 years) with mixed etiologies and compared the clinical consensus diagnosis provided by the physician on the basis of the medical staff's daily observations to diagnoses derived from CRS-R assessments performed by research staff. All patients were assigned a diagnosis of 'VS', 'MCS' or 'uncertain diagnosis.' RESULTS: Of the 44 patients diagnosed with VS based on the clinical consensus of the medical team, 18 (41%) were found to be in MCS following standardized assessment with the CRS-R. In the 41 patients with a consensus diagnosis of MCS, 4 (10%) had emerged from MCS, according to the CRS-R. We also found that the majority of patients assigned an uncertain diagnosis by clinical consensus (89%) were in MCS based on CRS-R findings. CONCLUSION: Despite the importance of diagnostic accuracy, the rate of misdiagnosis of VS has not substantially changed in the past 15 years. Standardized neurobehavioral assessment is a more sensitive means of establishing differential diagnosis in patients with disorders of consciousness when compared to diagnoses determined by clinical consensus. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 60 (5 ULg)
Bispectral index correlates with regional cerebral blood flow during sleep in distinct cortical and subcortical structures in humans.
Noirhomme, Quentin ; Boly, Mélanie ; Bonhomme, Vincent et al
in Archives Italiennes de Biologie (2009), 147(1-2), 51-7
The relationship between the Bispectral Index (BIS), an EEG-based monitor of anesthesia, and brain activity is still unclear. This study aimed at investigating the relationship between changes in BIS ... [more ▼]
The relationship between the Bispectral Index (BIS), an EEG-based monitor of anesthesia, and brain activity is still unclear. This study aimed at investigating the relationship between changes in BIS values during natural sleep and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) variations, as measured by Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Data were obtained from six young, healthy, right-handed, male volunteers (20-30 years old) using the H2(15)O infusion method. PET scans were performed both during waking and various stages of sleep. BIS values were monitored continuously and recorded during each PET scan. Positive correlations were detected between BIS and rCBF values in dorsolateral prefontal, parietal, anterior and posterior cingulate, precuneal, mesiofrontal, mesiotemporal and insular cortices. These areas belong to a frontoparietal network known to be related to awareness of self conscious sensory perception, attention and memory. BIS values also positively correlated with activity in brainstem and thalami, both structures known to be involved in arousal and wakefulness. These results show that BIS changes associated with physiological sleep depth co-vary with the activity of specific cortical and subcortical areas. The latter are known to modulate arousal, which in turn allows sustained thalamo-cortical enhancement of activity in a specific frontoparietal network known to be related to the content of consciousness. Thus, although mainly derived from frontal EEG, BIS could represent a wider index of cerebral activity. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 91 (7 ULg)