Periodic abnormal fluctuations of blood pressure, heart rate and skin blood flow appearing in a resuscitated comatose patient

J Auton Nerv Syst. 1991 Nov;36(2):115-22. doi: 10.1016/0165-1838(91)90107-e.


Fluctuations with a period of several tens of seconds, so called third-order waves, were recognized in the blood pressure, heart rate and Laser Doppler skin blood flow of a comatose patient following cardiac arrest and resuscitation. The waves fluctuated with an abnormally high amplitude and were apparently synchronous with each other. These abnormal fluctuations appeared continuously over 6 h on the day of resuscitation, while their periodicity gradually lengthened. The patient remained in a comatose state for the next 4 days. During that period, functional signs of the sympathetic nervous system, such as peripheral vasomotion and perspiration, were also absent. However, on the 6th post-resuscitation day, when the patient exhibited signs of restoring consciousness, he also regained some sympathetic function. This patient subsequently recovered full consciousness, although abnormalities of intelligence and motor function remained to some extent.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Coma / physiopathology*
  • Coma / therapy
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodicity
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Resuscitation
  • Skin / blood supply*