Neurocritical Care

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 1–4 | Cite as

C. Miller Fisher and the Comatose Patient

  • Eelco F. M. WijdicksEmail author
Neurocritical care through history


Neurologic examination of the comatose patient has gradually matured. Less than 50 years ago, neurological examination in coma became a regular part of textbooks with separate chapters devoted to the topic but many were deficient in detail. In 1969, C.M. Fisher published an extraordinary 56-page paper on the examination of the comatose patient. The paper—one of Fisher’s gems—is not well known and infrequently cited. The many new observations collected in this comprehensive paper are reviewed in this vignette, which highlights not only how these contributions shaped our thinking on coma but also questioned shaky concepts.


Coma Bilateral or unilateral decerebrate posturing Cheyne–Stoke respiration Brain stem lesions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Critical Care Neurology, Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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