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Coma 

Chapter:
Coma
Author(s):

Martin Rossor

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198569381.003.0749
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date: 18 October 2018

Many pathological processes can be responsible for stupor or coma, for example, head injury, tumour, vascular and inflammatory lesions, and most commonly toxic and metabolic states which usually lead to unconsciousness primarily through their effect upon the brainstem. In the series of Plum and Posner (1980) of 500 cases of stupor or coma, initially of unknown aetiology, 101 proved to be due to supratentorial lesions probably producing their effects by indirect action upon the brainstem, 65 to subtentorial lesions, and 326 to diffuse or metabolic brain.

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