Complications during apnea testing in the determination of brain death: predisposing factors

Neurology. 2000 Oct 10;55(7):1045-8. doi: 10.1212/wnl.55.7.1045.


Apnea testing in brain death determination may result in cardiovascular complications. Hypotension occurred in 24% and cardiac arrhythmias occurred in <1% of the 145 apneic oxygenation procedures. Complications were noted in only 15% of apnea tests performed without any predisposing factors. Significantly more complications (39%) were observed in apnea tests with inadequate precautions, particularly in apnea tests without adequate preoxygenation (50%).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apnea / physiopathology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Brain Death / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors