We evaluated whether we could predict the neurologic outcome in 55 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients using auditory brainstem responses (ABR). ABR patterns were classified into one of 3 types by evaluation of 5 components: type 1, with all 5 components; type 2, lack of at least one response between the 2nd and 5th components; type 3, with only the first component or no response. The relation between the ABR patterns on the 3rd day following resuscitation and the neurologic outcome on hospital discharge was evaluated. The specificity that the 5 awake patients had type-1 ABR was 38%. The sensitivity that the 10 brain dead patients had type-3 ABR was 60%. In the type-1 ABR patients, the negative predictive value that the patients were awake was 100%. In the type-3 ABR patients, the negative predictive value that the patients became brain dead was 90.9%. These results suggest that ABR on the 3rd post-resuscitation day may not be useful for predicting if patients are awake or become brain dead, although the loss of components may be a sign of morbidity, and the presence of the 2nd or later components indicates possible future prevention of brain death.