Neurologic Determination of Death

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This section has been reviewed and updated as of September 2018. To see past content, click on the Archive tab below.

  • Brain Death Declaration Tools
    • Brain Death ToolkitAccess (The Alliance recommends and endorses referencing the Brain Death Toolkit hosted by the Neurocritical Care Society for all Neurological Determination of Death related references and resources.)
    • Brain Death Examination – Online Learning Module – Access – Death by Neurological Criteria Module, Cleveland Clinic
    • Evidence-Based Guideline Update: Determining Brain Death in AdultsArticle – Wijdicks EFM, Varelas PN, Gronseth GS, Greer DM. (2010), Neurology, 74: 1911-1918.
  • Literature
    • American Academy of Neurology Guidelines and the Neurologic Determination of DeathArticle – Rady MY, Verheijde JL. (2016), JAMA Neurol, 73(6): 760-761. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.0428
    • Apnea Test for Brain Death Determination in a Patient on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation – Article (subscription) Smilevitch, P., Lonjaret, L., Fourcade, O. and Geeraerts, T. (2013). Neurocritical Care, 19(2), pp.215-217. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12028-013-9845-y
    • Brain Computed Tomography Angiography as an Ancillary Test in the Confirmation of Brain Death Article – Sadeghian, H., Raeisi, M., Dolati, P. and Motiei-Langroudi, R. (2017). Cureus. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.1491
    • Clinical Experience with Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography as a Confirmatory Test for Brain Death: A Retrospective Analysis Article (subscription) – Sharma, D., Souter, M., Moore, A. and Lam, A. (2010). Neurocritical Care, 14(3), pp.370-376. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12028-010-9415-5
    • Computed Tomography Angiography as a Confirmatory Test for the Diagnosis of Brain Death – Article (subscription) – Garrett, M., Williamson, R., Bohl, M., Bird, C. and Theodore, N. (2018). Journal of Neurosurgery, 128(2), pp.639-644. https://doi.org/10.3171/2016.10.JNS161042
    • Diagnostic Accuracy of Transcranial Doppler for Brain Death Confirmation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis – Article – Chang, J., Tsivgoulis, G., Katsanos, A., Malkoff, M. and Alexandrov, A. (2015). American Journal of Neuroradiology, 37(3), pp.408-414. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A4548
    • Family Presence During Brain Death Evaluation Article – Tawil I, Brown LH, Comfort D, et al. (2014), Crit Care Med, 42(4): 934-42. https://doi.org/0.1097/CCM.0000000000000102.
    • An Interdisciplinary Response to Contemporary Concerns About Brain Death Determination – Article – Lewis, A., Bernat, J., Blosser, S., Bonnie, R., Epstein, L., Hutchins, J., Kirschen, M., Rubin, M., Russell, J., Sattin, J., Wijdicks, E. and Greer, D. (2018). Neurology, 90(9), pp.423-426. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000005033
    • The Modified Apnea Test During Brain Death DeterminationArticle – Ahlawat, A., Carandang, R., Heard, S. and Muehlschlegel, S. (2015). Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, 31(1), pp.66-69. https://doi.org/10.1177/0885066615599086.
    • Reversible Brain Death After Cardiopulmonary Arrest and Induced Hypothermia*Article (subscription) – Webb, A. and Samuels, O. (2011). Critical Care Medicine, 39(6), pp.1538-1542. https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0b013e3182186687
    • Targeted Temperature Management at 33°C versus 36°C after Cardiac Arrest – Article – Nielsen, N., Wetterslev, J., Cronberg, T., Erlinge, D., Gasche, et al. (2013). New England Journal of Medicine, 369(23), pp.2197-2206. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1310519
    • To Make the Unusual Usual: Is There an Imperative to Discuss Organ Donation with Palliative Care Patients?Article (subscription) – Willis, D. and Draper, H. (2012). International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 18(1), pp.5-7. https://doi.org/10.12968/ijpn.2012.18.1.5
  • Archive
    The archive library contains articles and resources that were originally published 5+ years ago and are no longer current.
    • A Review of Ancillary Tests in Evaluating Brain Death – Article – Heran MK, Heran NS, Shemie SD. (2008), Can J Neurol Sci, 35(4): 409-419.
    • Brain death and Transcranial Doppler: Experience in 130 Cases of Brain Dead Patients – Article – Ducrocq X, Braun M, Debouverie M, et al. (1998), J Neurol Sci, 160(1): 41-46.
    • Brief Review: The Role of Ancillary Tests in the Neurological Determination of Death – Article – Young GB, Shemie SD, Doig CJ, Teitelbaum J. (2006), Can J Anaesth, 53(6): 620-627.
    • Computed Tomography Angiography in the Diagnosis of Brain Death: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis – Article – Kramer AH, Roberts DJ. (2014), Neurocrit Care, 21(3): 539-550. doi: 10.1007/s12028-014-9997-4.
    • Guidelines for the Determination of Brain Death in Infants and Children: An Update of the 1987 Task Force Recommendations – Article – Nakagawa TA, Ashwal S, Mathur M, et al. (2011), Pediatrics, 128(3): e720-e740. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1511.
    • Impact of a Computerized Note Template/Checklist on Documented Adherence to Institutional Criteria for Determination of Neurologic Death in a PICU – Article – Stockwell JA, Pham N, Fortenberry JD. (2011), Pediatr Crit Care Med, 12(3): 271-276. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e3181fe27da.
    • Predictors of Apnea Test Failure During Brain Death Determination – Article – Yee AH, Mandrekar J, Rabinstein AA, Wijdicks EF. (2010), Neurocrit Care, 12(3): 325-355. doi: 10.1007/s12028-010-9343-4.
    • Pronouncing Brain Death: Contemporary Practice and Safety of the Apnea Test – Article – Wijdicks EF, Rabinstein AA, Manno EM, Atkinson JD. (2008), Neurology, 71(16): 1240-1244. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000327612.69106.4c.
    • Scintigraphy as a Confirmatory Test of Brain Death – Article – Conrad GR, Sinha P. (2003), Semin Nucl Med, 33(4): 312-323.
    • Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography to Confirm Brain Death: a Meta-Analysis – Article – Monteiro LM, Bollen CW, van Huffelen AC, et al. (2006), Intensive Care Med, 32(12): 1937-1944. Epub 2006 Sept 21.

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