COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Age-specific characteristics of brain death in children

J C Fackler, J C Troncoso, F R Gioia
American Journal of Diseases of Children 1988, 142 (9): 999-1003
3414634
Clinical and neuropathologic characteristics of 45 children who met criteria for brain death were analyzed. Children between 2 months and 1 year of age were compared with children older than 1 year and children older than 5 years. The observation period to fulfill brain death criteria was not different between the age groups. Deep tendon and spinal reflexes were preserved significantly less frequently in children younger than 1 year old. Diabetes insipidus and the necessity of inotropic support were significantly more frequent in children older than 5 years. Fifty-eight percent (26/45) of patients had no cerebral perfusion pressure before death. However, 18% (8/45) of patients never had a cerebral perfusion pressure below 40 mm Hg. No relationships could be shown between the clinical or physiologic factors and neuropathologic findings. We found no support for using different brain-death criteria for children between 2 months and 1 year of age.

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