Comorbidities: A key issue in patients with disorders of consciousness

Francesca Pistoia, Simona Sacco, Marco Franceschini, Marco Sarà, Caterina Pistarini, Benedetta Cazzulani, Ilaria Simonelli, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Antonio Carolei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to identify the impact of comorbidities on outcomes of patients with vegetative state (VS) or minimally conscious state (MCS). All patients in VS or MCS consecutively admitted to two postacute care units within a 1-year period were evaluated at baseline and at 6 months through the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised Version and the Disability Rating Scale (DRS). Comorbidities were also recorded for each patient along the same period. Six-month outcomes included death, full recovery of consciousness, and functional improvement. One hundred and thirty-nine patients (88 male and 51 female; median age, 59 years) were included. Ninety-seven patients were in VS (70%) and 42 in MCS (30%). At 6 months, 33 patients were dead (24%), 39 had a full recovery of consciousness (28%), and 67 remained in VS or MCS (48%). According to DRS scores, 40% of patients (n=55) showed a functional improvement in the level of disability. One hundred and thirty patients (94%) showed at least one comorbidity. Severity of comorbidities (hazard ratio [HR]=2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.71-4.68; p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-688
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2015


  • brain injury
  • comorbidities
  • minimally conscious state
  • outcome
  • vegetative state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine(all)

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