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See detailFunctional connectivity in the default network during resting state is preserved in a vegetative but not in a brain dead patient.
Boly, Mélanie ULg; Tshibanda, Luaba ULg; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ULg 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 ▲]

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See detailDifferent beliefs about pain perception in the vegetative and minimally conscious states: a European survey of medical and paramedical professionals.
Demertzi, Athina ULg; Schnakers, Caroline ULg; Ledoux, Didier ULg 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 ▲]

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See detailSAPS 3 admission score: an external validation in a general intensive care population
Ledoux, Didier ULg; Canivet, Jean-Luc ULg; Preiser, Jean-Charles ULg et al

in Intensive Care Medicine (2008)

OBJECTIVES: To validate the SAPS 3 admission score in an independent general intensive care case mix and to compare its performances with the APACHE II and the SAPS II scores. DESIGN: Cohort observational ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: To validate the SAPS 3 admission score in an independent general intensive care case mix and to compare its performances with the APACHE II and the SAPS II scores. DESIGN: Cohort observational study. SETTING: A 26-bed general ICU from a Tertiary University Hospital. PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS: Eight hundred and fifty-one consecutive patients admitted to the ICU over an 8-month period. Of these patients, 49 were readmissions, leaving 802 patients for further analysis. INTERVENTION: None. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: APACHE II, SAPS II and SAPS 3 variables were prospectively collected; scores and their derived probability of death were calculated according to their original manuscript description. The discriminative power was assessed using the area under the ROC curve (AUROC) and calibration was verified with the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test. The AUROC of the APACHE II model (AUROC = 0.823) was significantly lower than those of the SAPS II (AUROC = 0.850) and SAPS 3 models (AUROC = 0.854) (P = 0.038). The calibration of the APACHE II model (P = 0.037) and of the SAPS 3 global model (P = 0.035) appeared unsatisfactory. On the contrary, both SAPS II model and SAPS 3 model customised for Central and Western Europe had a good calibration. However, in our study case mix, SAPS II model tended to overestimate the probability of death. CONCLUSION: In this study, the SAPS 3 admission score and its prediction model customised for Central and Western Europe was more discriminative and better calibrated than APACHE II, but it was not significantly better than the SAPS II. [less ▲]

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See detailIntensive care unit acquired infection and organ failure
Damas, Pierre ULg; Ledoux, Didier ULg; Nys, Monique ULg et al

in Intensive Care Medicine (2008), 34

OBJECTIVE: To assess the temporal relationship between ICU-acquired infection (IAI) and the prevalence and severity of organ dysfunction or failure (OD/F). DESIGN AND SETTING: Observational, single center ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: To assess the temporal relationship between ICU-acquired infection (IAI) and the prevalence and severity of organ dysfunction or failure (OD/F). DESIGN AND SETTING: Observational, single center study in a mixed intensive care unit of a university hospital. PATIENTS: We analyzed 1,191 patients hospitalized for more than 2 days during a 2-year observation period: 845 did not acquire IAI, 306 of whom had infection on admission (IOA); 346 did acquire IAI, 125 of whom had IOA. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: The SOFA score was calculated daily, both SOFAmax, the sum of the worst OD/F during the ICU stay, and SOFApreinf, the sum of the worst OD/F existing before the occurrence of the first IAI. The SAPS II and SOFA score of the first 24 h were significantly higher in patients with than in those without IAI. SOFApreinf of IAI patients was also higher than the SOFAmax of patients without IAI both in patients with (12.1+/-4.6 vs. 8.9+/-4.7) and those without IOA (9.2+/-4.0 vs. 6.7+/-3.5). SOFApreinf represented 85.7% of the value of SOFAmax in patients with IAI. SOFApreinf increased significantly with the occurrence of sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock during ICU stay. Severe sepsis and septic shock during ICU stay as well as SOFApreinf were part of the factors associated with hospital mortality. CONCLUSIONS: IAI is significantly associated with hospital mortality; however, its contribution to OD/F is minor. Moreover, severity of IAI seems to be related to previous health status. [less ▲]

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See detailPseudomonas aeruginosa and severity of ventilator associated pneumonia
BROUSSE, Murielle; LAYIOS, Nathalie ULg; LEDOUX, Didier ULg et al

Conference (2008)

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See detailPseudomonas aeruginosa and severity of ventilator associated pneumonia
LAYIOS, Nathalie ULg; LEDOUX, Didier ULg; NYS, Monique ULg et al

in Intensive Care Medicine (2008), 34(Suppl 1), 38

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See detailVoluntary brain processing in disorders of consciousness
Schnakers, Caroline ULg; Perrin, F.; Schabus, M. et al

in Neurology (2008), 71(20), 1614-1620

Background: Disentangling the vegetative state from the minimally conscious state is often difficult when relying only on behavioral observation. In this study, we explored a new active evoked related ... [more ▼]

Background: Disentangling the vegetative state from the minimally conscious state is often difficult when relying only on behavioral observation. In this study, we explored a new active evoked related potentials paradigm as an alternative method for the detection of voluntary brain activity. Methods: The participants were 22 right-handed patients (10 traumatic) diagnosed as being in a vegetative state (VS) (n 8) or in a minimally conscious state (MCS) (n 14). They were presented sequences of names containing the patient’s own name or other names, in both passive and active conditions. In the active condition, the patients were instructed to count her or his own name or to count another target name. Results: Like controls, MCS patients presented a larger P3 to the patient’s own name, in the passive and in the active conditions. Moreover, the P3 to target stimuli was higher in the active than in the passive condition, suggesting voluntary compliance to task instructions like controls. These responses were even observed in patients with low behavioral responses (e.g., visual fixationand pursuit). In contrast, no P3 differences between passive and active conditions were observed for VS patients. Conclusions: The present results suggest that active evoked-related potentials paradigms may permit detection of voluntary brain function in patients with severe brain damage who present with a disorder of consciousness, even when the patient may present with very limited to questionablyany signs of awareness. [less ▲]

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See detailRevelations from the unconscious: studying residual brain function in coma and related states.
Laureys, Steven ULg; Boly, Mélanie ULg; Schnakers, Caroline ULg et al

in Bulletin et Mémoires de l'Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique (2008), 163(7-9), 381-8388-90

The purpose of our research is to contribute to a better understanding of the residual brain function of patients who survive an acute brain damage but remain in a coma, vegetative state, minimally ... [more ▼]

The purpose of our research is to contribute to a better understanding of the residual brain function of patients who survive an acute brain damage but remain in a coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state or locked-in syndrome. The diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and medical management of these patients remain difficult. These studies are also of interest scientifically, as they help to elucidate the neural correlates of human consciousness. We here review our studies on bedside behavioral evaluation scales, electrophysiology and functional neuroimaging in these disorders of consciousness and conclude by discussing methodological and ethical issues and current concepts of the standards for care and quality of life in these challenging conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailComment prédire l'évolution du coma post-anoxique?
Kirsch, Murielle ULg; Boveroux, Pierre ULg; Massion, Paul ULg et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2008), 63(5-6), 263-268

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See detailCerebral subarachnoid blood migration consecutive to a lumbar haematoma after spinal anaesthesia
Goujon-Dubois, Julie; Hans, Grégory ULg; Senard, Marc ULg et al

in Acta Anaesthesiologica Belgica (2008), 59(3), 223

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See detailMesurer la douleur chez le patient non communicant.
Chatelle, Camille ULg; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ULg; Mergam, Anne-Nora ULg et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2008), 63(5-6), 429-37

Pain is a subjective experience. Its assessment is based on the subject's direct verbal report. This method of assessment is, however, impossible in patients who cannot communicate their feelings. In this ... [more ▼]

Pain is a subjective experience. Its assessment is based on the subject's direct verbal report. This method of assessment is, however, impossible in patients who cannot communicate their feelings. In this context, indirect measurements such as behavioral observations or physiological measurements are needed. To facilitate the assessment of pain in non-communicative patients, numerous standardized behavioral scales have been developed. The aim of this review is to discuss the main validated pain scales employed in end-stage dementia, newborn and preverbal children, and severely brain damaged patients with a disorder of consciousness such as coma, the vegetative state or the minimally conscious state. [less ▲]

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See detailQuelle vie apres le Locked-In syndrome?
Bruno, Marie-Aurélie ULg; Pellas, F.; Bernheim, J. L. et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2008), 63(5-6), 445-51

The Locked-In Syndrome (LIS) is classically caused by an anterior pontine vascular lesion and characterized by quadriplegia and anarthria with preserved consciousness and intellectual functioning. We here ... [more ▼]

The Locked-In Syndrome (LIS) is classically caused by an anterior pontine vascular lesion and characterized by quadriplegia and anarthria with preserved consciousness and intellectual functioning. We here review the definition, etiologies, diagnosis and prognosis of LIS patients and briefly discuss the few studies on their quality of life and the challenging end-of-life decisions that can be encountered. Some clinicians may consider that LIS is worse than being in a vegetative or in a minimally conscious state. However, preliminary data from chronic LIS survivors show a surprisingly preserved self-scored quality of life and requests of treatment withdrawal or euthanasia, though not absent, are infrequent. [less ▲]

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See detailCerebral subarachnoid blood migration consecutive to a lumbar haematoma after spinal anaesthesia
Hans, Grégory ULg; Senard, Marc ULg; Ledoux, Didier ULg et al

in Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica (2008), 52

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See detailLes échelles d’évaluation des états de conscience altérée
Ledoux, Didier ULg; Piret, Sonia ULg; Boveroux, Pierre ULg et al

in Réanimation (2008), 17

L’évaluation de l’état de conscience revêt une importance clinique considé- rable. En effet, déterminer avec précision la sévérité de l’altération de conscience permet non seulement d’établir un pronostic ... [more ▼]

L’évaluation de l’état de conscience revêt une importance clinique considé- rable. En effet, déterminer avec précision la sévérité de l’altération de conscience permet non seulement d’établir un pronostic vital et fonctionnel mais aussi de suivre plus efficacement l’évolution clinique des patients avec lésion cérébrale et d’optimaliser l’utilisation des ressources disponibles. Dans cet article, nous passons en revue les principales échelles d’évaluation des états de conscience altérée. Nous nous intéressons particu- lièrement à instrument récemment publié, l’échelle «Full Outline of UnResponsiveness» (FOUR). En effet, cette dernière constitue une avancée considérable dans l’évaluation cli- nique des patients présentant un état de conscience altérée. Parmi les apports de cette échelle, on notera sa contribution au diagnostic d’un locked-in syndrome, d’un état de conscience minimale ou encore d’un état de mort cérébrale. Nous pensons qu’en rai- son de son apport à l’examen clinique durant la phase initiale d’un état de conscience altérée, l’échelle FOUR devrait être préférée à la désormais classique échelle de Glasgow. [less ▲]

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See detailCystatin C blood level as a risk factor for death after heart surgery
Ledoux, Didier ULg; Monchi, M.; Chapelle, Jean-Paul ULg et al

in European Heart Journal (2007), 28(15), 1848-53

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See detailEvaluation comportementale et par neuroimagerie fonctionnelle des patients en état végétatif
Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ULg; Schnakers, Caroline ULg; Boly, Mélanie ULg et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2007), 62 Spec No

Currently, there remains a high rate of misdiagnosis of the vegetative state. This should incite clinicians to use the most sensitive "coma scales" to detect signs of consciousness in these patients. The ... [more ▼]

Currently, there remains a high rate of misdiagnosis of the vegetative state. This should incite clinicians to use the most sensitive "coma scales" to detect signs of consciousness in these patients. The gold standard remains the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS, Teasdale and Jennet, 1974), with the Glasgow Liege Scale (GLS, Born, 1988) adding standardized assessment of brainstem reflexes. New sensible behavioral assessment tools for use in the acute neurocritical care setting include the Full Outline of UnResponsiveness (FOUR, Wijdicks et al., 2005). The Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R, Giacino and Kalmar, 2004) specifically tests the diagnostic criteria differentiating vegetative from minimally conscious patients. Detecting signs of consciousness also depends on the employed methodology. We showed that for the assesment of the presence of visual pursuit, using a moving mirror is better suited than using a moving object or person. The clinical diagnosis can be confirmed by cerebral positron emission tomography studies objectively quantifying residual metabolic activity in vegetative and minimally conscious patients. Ongoing studies evaluate the prognostic value of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in these challenging patient populations. [less ▲]

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