Electrophysiologic studies on locked-in patients: heterogeneity of findings

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1989 Nov;73(5):419-26. doi: 10.1016/0013-4694(89)90091-6.


Somatosensory evoked potentials, brain-stem auditory evoked potentials and electroencephalograms were obtained from 9 patients with the diagnosis of 'locked-in' syndrome. No pattern of evoked potential abnormality was specific to this syndrome, with findings ranging from bilaterally normal to unilaterally or bilaterally absent. The evoked potential studies complemented radiographic findings in defining the extent of the lesion and revealed that a portion of the pontine tegmentum was usually involved. Pathology from 2 patients corroborated the findings of the evoked potential studies. The value of evoked potential studies of patients with locked-in syndrome is to provide early objective evidence of brain-stem involvement independent of the clinical examination, EEG and radiographic studies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Stem / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory*
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Median Nerve / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Quadriplegia / physiopathology*