The Combination of N60 with Mismatch Negativity Improves the Prediction of Awakening from Coma

BACKGROUND Our objective was to evaluate the use of event-related potentials and the middle-latency somatosensory evoked potential (MLSEP) for the prediction of awakening in coma, determine the evaluation day that evoked potentials (EPs) best predict an awakening outcome, and determine whether the mismatch negativity (MMN) combined with the MLSEP, when recorded at 7 days after coma, improved the prediction of awakening from coma. METHODS Design prospective blinded cohort study. Setting neurointensive care unit of a university hospital. Patients 113 consecutive patients who were severely comatose, whose etiologies of coma included stroke (65 patients), hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (28 patients), intracranial infection (6 patients), and other (14 patients). Interventions none. Measurements we gathered Glasgow Coma Scale scores and recorded EPs for all patients who were comatose at 7, 14, and 30 days after coma onset, unless the patients returned to consciousness. The EPs examined included the MLSEP, the middle-latency auditory evoked potential, the N100, and the MMN. With telephone follow-up after 3 months, the patients were classified as awakening or nonawakening according to Glasgow Outcome Scale. RESULTS When predicting an awakening outcome, at least the unilateral presence of the N60 had the highest sensitivity (82.7%), whereas the presence of the MMN showed the highest specificity (82.0%). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the EPs were high at 7 days after coma onset. At 7 days after coma onset, the combination of the N60 and MMN offered good predictive performance for awakening (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.852, 95% confidence interval 0.765-0.940), with increased sensitivity (70.0%) and improved specificity (91.7%). CONCLUSIONS The N60 and MMN were the strongest prognostic factors for an awakening outcome. Furthermore, at 7 days after coma onset, the combination of the N60 and MMN improved the prediction of an awakening outcome in patients who were comatose.
as reported in: Neurocrit Care. 2021 Jul 21 [Epub ahead of print]