Skip to main content

Advertisement

Table 2 The objective findings that respondents considered would not be compatible with brain death

From: A survey of American neurologists about brain death: understanding the conceptual basis and diagnostic tests for brain death

Finding This would not be compatible with brain death (n = 192) [n (%; 95% confidence interval)] Actual percentage of clinically diagnosed brain death cases with this finding [15, 16]
Objective test   
Some EEG activity 135 (70%; 63-76%)) > 20%
Some evoked potential activity 107 (56%; 49-63%) > 5%
Some cerebral blood flow 99 (52%; 45-59%) > 5-40%
Some pituitary hormones 17 (9%; 6-14%) > 50%
Normal brainstem pathology 36 (19%; 14-25%) > 10-40%
None of the above 34 (18%; 13-24%) Unknown
Pathology finding   
Brainstem minimal damage 81 (42%; 35-49%) > 5-40%
Cerebral cortex minimal damage 63 (33%; 27-40%) > 5-40%
Damage but not respirator brain 27 (14%; 10-20%) > 5-40%
Widespread necrosis 1 (1%; 0-3%) > 50%
None of the above 93 (48%; 41-55%) Unknown
  1. EEG = electroencephalogram
  2. The standard medical, ethical, and legal tests for brain death only require clinical bedside tests; EEG, brainstem evoked potential, brain blood flow, or pituitary hormone testing are not required nor recommended [1, 5, 7, 8, 11, 24, 25]. In addition, brain pathology is not obtained as part of the diagnosis of brain death.