The early and late components of the orbicularis oculi reflex were absent bilaterally in three patients who fulfilled the clinical and electroencephalographic criteria of brain death. A response to peripheral facial nerve stimulation was obtained in all. These preliminary observations suggest that the study of the orbicularis oculi reflex is a simple, objective, bedside neurophysiological test of brain stem function, complementing the electroencephalogram in the diagnosis of brain death.
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