• Forty-three comatose children treated by invasive neurointensive care were examined by brain-stem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). The evoked potential (EP) results obtained were reviewed in conjunction with the clinical outcome. As a BAEP criterion, the V-I interpeak latency and, as an SEP criterion, the central conduction time (N20-N14) latency) were measured. A loss of BAEP and SEP components portended a poor prognosis. On the other hand, latency prolongations were seen in a third of patients who made a complete recovery. However, the SEP and BAEP have proved themselves as reliable methods in the judgment of the clinical state and the prognosis of intensively treated children with a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or a head injury. The measurement of both BAEPs and SEPs was a more reliable prognostic aid than either EP measurement alone.
(Am J Dis Child 1983;137:421-426)