Terminal spreading depolarizations causing electrocortical silencing prior to clinical brain death: case report. Case Study uri icon


  • The authors report on a 57-year-old woman in whom progression to brain death occurred on day 9 after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage without evidence of significant brain edema or vasospasm. Neuromonitoring demonstrated that brain death was preceded by a series of cortical spreading depolarizations that occurred in association with progressive hypoxic episodes. The depolarizations induced final electrical silence in the cortex and ended with a terminal depolarization that persisted > 7 hours. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of terminal spreading depolarization in the human brain prior to clinical brain death and major cardiopulmonary failure.

publication date

  • December 2018