Assessment of Neurologic Function

  • Elizabeth E. Scarlett
  • Brandi N. Peachey
  • Jill M. Gotoff


Despite multiple advances in neuroimaging, monitoring of intracranial hemodynamics, and electrodiagnosis, serial neurological examinations remains the primary method to detect clinical changes in the child with potential or ongoing neurologic impairment. Neurologic dysfunction must be discriminated from sedation, residual anesthesia, neuromuscular blockade and psychological adjustment to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) environment. Toxins, infections, metabolic diseases and hypoxia tend to cause generalized cerebral dysfunction with relative sparing of the brainstem structures. Tumors, trauma and focal ischemia tend to cause localized lesions that can manifest as neurologic dysfunction involving the cerebral hemispheres, brainstem or both.


Traumatic Brain Injury Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Brain Death Neuromuscular Blockade Glasgow Coma Scale Score 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth E. Scarlett
    • 1
  • Brandi N. Peachey
    • 1
  • Jill M. Gotoff
    • 2
  1. 1.Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Geisinger Medical CenterJanet Weis Children’s HospitalDanvilleUSA
  2. 2.Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Geisinger Medical CenterTemple University School of Medicine, Janet Weis Children’s HospitalDanvilleUSA

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