Introduction Resistance to eye opening (REO) is a commonly encountered phenomenon in clinical practice. We aim to investigate whether REO is a sign of consciousness or a reflex in severely brain-injured patients. Methods We recorded REO in chronic patients with disorders of consciousness during a multimodal diagnostic assess- ment. REO evaluations were performed daily in each patient and clinical diagnosis of unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS), minimally conscious state with (MCS+) or without (MCS−) preserved language processing was made using the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R). Results Out of 150 consecutive patients, 79 patients fit inclusion criteria. REO was seen in 19 patients (24.1%). At the group level, there was a significant relationship between the presence of REO and the level of consciousness. We also observed a difference in the repeatability of REO between patients in UWS, MCS− and MCS+. Out of 23 patients in UWS, six showed REO, in whom five showed atypical brain patterns activation. Conclusion Our findings suggest a voluntary basis for REO and stress the need for multiple serial assessments of REO in these patients, especially since most patients show fluctuating levels of consciousness. Keywords Disorders of consciousness · Resistance to eye opening · Unresponsive wakefulness syndrome · Minimally conscious
Journal of Neurology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 5, 2018
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