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Anesthesiology. 1992 Nov;77(5):920-5.

No correlation between quantitative electroencephalographic measurements and movement response to noxious stimuli during isoflurane anesthesia in rats.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0648.


A meaningful use of the electroencephalogram (EEG) for monitoring depth of anesthesia has proven elusive. Although changes in the EEG with changing anesthetic dose or concentration have been noted for 60 yr, it has been difficult to demonstrate reliable, quantitative correlation between the EEG and other physiologic measures of anesthetic depth. We attempted to correlate several quantitative EEG measurements in rats, including average amplitude, spectral edge frequency, and burst suppression ratio, with the movement response to supramaximal noxious stimulation. We anesthetized 21 Sprague-Dawley rats with isoflurane 1.5% and allowed them to breathe spontaneously. After equilibration, EEG was recorded for off-line analysis; then a noxious stimulation was delivered with a tail clamp and the somatic response noted. Isoflurane concentration was adjusted up and down, and the EEG and movement response to tail clamp were assessed at each level until the minimum alveolar concentration was determined in each rat. We found no EEG dose response to increasing inspired concentrations of isoflurane, except for an increasing degree of burst suppression. We found no difference in any parameter between rats that responded and those that did not respond to stimuli at a given concentration of isoflurane. Finally, we found that the presence of burst suppression did not predict lack of response.

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