[Hysterical Pseudo-Coma: A Case Report]

Encephale. 2015 Sep;41(4):370-2. doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2014.10.002. Epub 2015 Jun 5.
[Article in French]


Hysterical pseudo-coma corresponds to a state of clinical sleep with contrasting waking electroencephalogram. It can last several hours or even several days in the absence of an underlying organic disease. In psychiatry, this disorder is currently part of the "dissociative disorder not otherwise specified". Through this case report, we describe the evolution of a hysterical pseudo-coma that lasted four days in a 28-year-old man. The normality of biological, radiological and electroencephalographic assessments, and responsiveness of the patient during the implementation of a nasogastric tube, led us to suspect a mental origin. An adapted psychiatric care allowed the patient to recover his autonomy after three days of hospitalization. This had prevented the escalation of explorations and invasive treatments. However, the search for organic comorbidity and its management remains a priority.

Keywords: Coma; Comorbidités organiques; Dissociative disorder; Hysterical pseudo-coma; Organic comorbidities; Perturbation of consciousness; Pseudo-coma hystérique; Trouble de conscience; Trouble dissociatif.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coma / psychology*
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders
  • Sleep