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Minerva Pediatrics 2021 Apr 02

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.21.05931-0

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Brain auditory evoked potentials in pediatric intensive care unit: diagnostic role on encephalopathy and central respiratory failure on infants.

Emanuele ROSSETTI 1 , Stefano PRO 2, Sergio PICARDO 1, Daniela LONGO 3, Matteo DI CAPUA 2

1 Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric Emergency, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Department, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy; 2 Neurophysiology Unit, Neurology Department, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy; 3 Radiology Department, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Rome, Italy


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Encephalopathy of different etiologies in infants is often the reason for central respiratory insufficiency which eventually leads patients to the paediatric intensive care unit. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) may be useful to identify brainstem alterations among patients with respiratory insufficiency of central origin. MRI is a compulsory technique to identify brain abnormalities, but may fail to detect brainstem lesions of small dimensions. BAEPs play a highly sensitive role on brainstem dysfunction identification because of the generators of different peaks which are related to specific brainstem structures. The early identification of brainstem lesions in mechanically ventilated infants with encephalopathy may reduce the weaning off mechanical ventilation’s attempt numbers and provide early informative discussions with families and clinical caregivers about treatment options, such as tracheostomy, long term ventilation and the reduction of their lenght of PICU stay. Furthermore, this would support the evaluation process concerning the affected children, their families and the needs of other social groups, including health systems.


KEY WORDS: Pediatric intensive care; Infants; Encephalopaty; Respiratory failure

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