An intoxication mimicking brain death: baclofen

KÖKER A., ARSLAN G., Ozden O., Karaarslan U., Er A., DUMAN M., ...More

ACTA NEUROLOGICA BELGICA, vol.120, no.1, pp.33-35, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 120 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13760-018-1012-y
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.33-35
  • Keywords: Baclofen, Brain death, Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), Electroencephalography (EEG), OVERDOSE
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Baclofen is a derivative of gamma-aminobutyric acid, used mainly for the treatment of muscle spasticity. Baclofen overdose can result in severe respiratory depression, autonomic disturbances, seizures and coma. Here we report a 15-year-old girl who was found unresponsive, intubated and admitted to the PICU. On initial presentation, her Glasgow Coma Score was 3, with fixed dilated pupils. EEG revealed cerebral bioelectric activity and ground amplitudes significantly lower than normal. Supportive treatments were administered. On the 2nd PICU day, she regained consciousness and was able to follow commands. She was extubated and discharged on hospital day 3. Conclusively emergency physicians should consider baclofen overdose in children presenting with acute loss of consciousness, flaccidity, and hyporeflexia.