- This study was designed to determine whether the observed reactive electroencephalographic patterns in comatose children were associated with a better outcome. All electroencephalograms performed in comatose children aged 2 months to 18 years during the period 1996-2003 were retrospectively analyzed and classified according to modified Young's classification. Reactivity to painful/auditory stimuli and passive eye closure (at least two modalities) was checked in all electroencephalograms. The clinical outcome at 1 year or during the last clinic/inpatient follow-up was scored according to the Pediatric Cerebral and Overall Performance Category Scale. Outcomes were then compared using Fisher exact test and the Mann-Whitney test. Thirty-three patients had electroencephalography within 72 hours after the onset of coma. Fourteen of 33 electroencephalograms revealed reactive patterns. Outcome was unfavorable in 4 (28.6%) of these patients. Three children had no residual neurologic impairment. Among the 19 children with nonreactive electroencephalogram, 13 (65%) had unfavorable outcome, which included 10 deaths. All the survivors had residual neurologic impairment. Outcome was better in children with reactive electroencephalographic patterns (Fisher exact test; P = 0.023). Comatose children with reactive electroencephalographic patterns have better clinical outcome in terms of morbidity and mortality. A careful assessment of electroencephalographic reactive patterns in all comatose children is required for better understanding of the clinical outcome.