What is the Glasgow Scale and how is it used in the workup of postconcussive syndrome (PCS)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

The Glasgow Scale is frequently used to assess the severity of the initial injury. It consists of measurements of eye, verbal, and motor responses.  The total score is found by summing the numbers for the three tests.  GCS ≥ 13 is defined as minor, GCS 9 – 12 is defined as moderate and GCS ≤ 8 is considered severe (coma). 

Eyes

  1. No eye opening
  2. Eye opening in response to pain
  3. Eye opening to speech
  4. Eyes opening spontaneously

Verbal response

  1. No verbal response
  2. Incomprehensible sounds
  3. Inappropriate words (no conversational exchange)
  4. Confused (the patient responds to questions coherently but there is some disorientation and confusion)
  5. Oriented

Motor response

  1. No motor response
  2. Extension to pain
  3. Abnormal flexion to pain
  4. Flexion/Withdrawal to pain
  5. Localizes to pain (purposeful movements towards painful stimuli)
  6. Obeys commands (the patient does simple things as asked) 

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