Symptoms & Signs
Symptoms of mild cerebral hypoxia include:
- Change in attention (inattentiveness)
- Poor judgment
- Uncoordinated movement
Symptoms of severe cerebral hypoxia include:
- Complete unawareness and unresponsiveness (coma)
- No breathing
- No response to light
If only blood pressure and heart function remain, then the brain may actually be completely dead.
Diagnosis & Tests
Cerebral hypoxia can usually be diagnosed based on the person’s medical history and a physical exam. Tests are done to determine the cause of the hypoxia, and may include:
- Blood work, including arterial blood gases and blood sugar level
- Electrocardiogram (ECG), a measurement of the heart’s electrical activity
- Electroencephalogram (EEG), a test of brain waves that can identify seizures and show how well brain cells work
- Evoked potentials, a test that determines whether certain sensations such as vision and touch reach the brain
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Review Date : 9/22/2008
Reviewed By : Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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