Key words Brain death
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The objective of this study was to determine the main clinical, neurophysiological and angiographic findings in brain death (BD) in children seen at the Instituto Nacional de Pediatría, a third-level facility in Mexico City, between 1991 and 1996. The following variables were retrospectively analyzed: sex, age, etiology, associated morbidity, duration of stay in hospital, and the results of two of three confirmatory studies (electroencephalogram, evoked potentials, radioisotopic angiography). In all, 125 patients were studied [78 male; median age 2 years (range: 18 days to 17 years)]. The most frequent etiology was infection (34%); 57% of the children developed associated morbidity. In 111 of 122 patients electrocerebral silence was observed; 100 of 107 had brain stem and somatosensory evoked potentials affording conclusive evidence of BD; and 83 of 90 patients had a positive radioisotopic angiography indicating BD. In 76 patients all three confirmatory studies were performed: for 15 there was at least one false-negative test result. Our age cohort showed a predominance of children less than 2 years old. BD etiologies in developing countries differ from those reported in developed countries.
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