Prognosis of Patients with Altered State of Consciousness

  • Marie-Aurélie BrunoEmail author
  • Didier Ledoux
  • Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse
  • Olivia Gosseries
  • Aurore Thibaut
  • Steven Laureys


Progress in intensive care has increased the number of patients surviving severe acute brain damage. These patients classically progress through different stages before fully or partly recovering consciousness. Following severe acute brain damage, most of these patients recover from their coma to a vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS; i.e. wakefulness without awareness) within 4 weeks after the injury. VS/UWS patients, who recover, typically transit through minimally conscious state (MCS). There is, however, no predictive model of recovery from the VS/UWS and the MCS. A better understanding of patient outcome would help in decisions about care and rehabilitation or end-of-life decisions. In this chapter, we review the available literature on patient prognosis and try to establish reliable guidelines to predict outcome in these patients.


Traumatic Patient Functional Recovery Glasgow Outcome Scale Somatosensory Evoke Potential Altered State 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Aurélie Bruno
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Didier Ledoux
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olivia Gosseries
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Aurore Thibaut
    • 1
    • 2
  • Steven Laureys
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Coma Science Group, Cyclotron Research CenterUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity Hospital of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Intensive CareUniversity Hospital of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  4. 4.National Fund for Scientific ResearchLiègeBelgium

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