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Article
August 1, 1993

Accuracy of diagnosis of persistent vegetative state

August 1993 issue
43 (8) 1465

Abstract

We reviewed pre-admission diagnosis in all patients referred for inpatient brain injury neurorehabilitation over a 5-year period (n = 193). All patients more than 1 month postinjury with diagnosis of coma or persistent vegetative state were selected for review (n = 49). We found that 18 (37%) of these patients were diagnosed inaccurately. Inaccurate diagnosis was more likely if the injury was more than 3 months before admission and the etiology of injury was trauma (48%). Results were statistically significant when traumatic injuries were compared with anoxic injuries (p < 0.10). Errors in diagnosis may result from confusion in terminology, lack of extended observation of patients, and lack of skill or training in the assessment of neurologically devastated patients.

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Published In

Neurology®
Volume 43Number 8August 1993
Pages: 1465
PubMed: 8350997

Publication History

Published online: August 1, 1993
Published in print: August 1993

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Authors

Affiliations & Disclosures

Nancy L. Childs, MD
Healthcare Rehabilitation Center (Dr Childs), Austin, TX, and the Department of Psychology (W.N. Mercer and H.W. Childs), University of North Texas, Denton, TX.
Walt N. Mercer, MRE
Healthcare Rehabilitation Center (Dr Childs), Austin, TX, and the Department of Psychology (W.N. Mercer and H.W. Childs), University of North Texas, Denton, TX.
Helen W. Childs, MS
Healthcare Rehabilitation Center (Dr Childs), Austin, TX, and the Department of Psychology (W.N. Mercer and H.W. Childs), University of North Texas, Denton, TX.

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