BackgroundChronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with significant systemic abnormalities which includes systemic inflammation and neurohormonal activation that are considered the main mechanisms of the pathophysiology in systemic involvement. The aim of the present study was to detect the subclinical affection of the central nervous system in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.ResultsForty patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were enrolled in this study and 30 healthy subjects as a control group. All patients and healthy subjects were submitted to full history taking, clinical examination, arterial blood gases, spirometry, evoked potential, and electroencephalogram. Regarding to brain stem auditory evoked potentials, there was a statistically significant increase of latency of waves numbers I, III, and V, and a statistically significant increase of interpeak latencies I–III in the COPD group when compared to the control group. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant decrease of brain stem auditory evoked potential I and V amplitudes on both sides in the COPD group when compared to the control group. In visual evoked potential, there was a statistically significant increase of latency and decrease of amplitude of P100. In addition, there was a statistically significant increase of electroencephalogram changes in the COPD group when compared to the control group (20.0% vs. 3.3%, respectively).ConclusionIn patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the central nervous system could be affected subclinically as the severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease increased, and the patient should be electrophysiologically monitored for early detection of nervous system affection.