A Systematic Review of Sleep in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness: From Diagnosis to Prognosis
With the development of intensive care technology, the number of patients who survive acute severe brain injury has increased significantly. At present, it is difficult to diagnose the patients with disorders of consciousness (DOCs) because motor responses in these patients may be very limited and inconsistent. Electrophysiological criteria, such as event-related potentials or motor imagery, have also been studied to establish a diagnosis and prognosis based on command-following or active
... gms. However, the use of such task-based techniques in DOC patients is methodologically complex and requires careful analysis and interpretation. The present paper focuses on the analysis of sleep patterns for the evaluation of DOC and its relationships with diagnosis and prognosis outcomes. We discuss the concepts of sleep patterns in patients suffering from DOC, identification of this challenging population, and the prognostic value of sleep. The available literature on individuals in an unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) or minimally conscious state (MCS) following traumatic or nontraumatic severe brain injury is reviewed. We can distinguish patients with different levels of consciousness by studying sleep patients with DOC. Most MCS patients have sleep and wake alternations, sleep spindles and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, while UWS patients have few EEG changes. A large number of sleep spindles and organized sleep–wake patterns predict better clinical outcomes. It is expected that this review will promote our understanding of sleep EEG in DOC.