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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2007 Jan;51(1):22-30. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

Assessing the depth of dexmedetomidine-induced sedation with electroencephalogram (EEG)-based spectral entropy.

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Turku PET Centre, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.



Adequate sedation of critically ill patients improves the outcome of intensive care. Maintaining an optimal level of sedation in the intensive care unit (ICU) is difficult because of a lack of appropriate monitoring methods to guide drug dosing. Dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist, has recently been introduced for the sedation of ICU patients. This study investigated the utility of electroencephalogram (EEG)-based spectral entropy monitoring (with M-ENTROPY, GE Healthcare, Helsinki, Finland) for the assessment of dexmedetomidine-induced sedation.


Eleven healthy, non-smoking men, aged 23.9 +/- 2.5 years (mean +/- standard deviation), were recruited. Spectral entropy was recorded before and during low (0.5 ng/ml) and high (5 ng/ml) plasma concentrations of dexmedetomidine. At the end of the infusion, subjects were awakened by verbal command and light shaking.


Spectral entropy decreased from 84 +/- 5 to 66 +/- 16 (P= 0.029) during low dexmedetomidine levels and from 84 +/- 5 to 20 +/- 12 (P < 0.001) during high dexmedetomidine levels. Transitions during loss and regaining of consciousness were analysed separately. Entropy decreased from 76 +/- 8 before to 43 +/- 10 (P < 0.001) after loss of consciousness, and increased from 14 +/- 4 to 63 +/- 13 (P < 0.001) on regaining of consciousness. These changes were consistent across all subjects. Prediction probability and sensitivity values indicated a high predictive performance of the method.


The depth of dexmedetomidine-induced sedation can be monitored with EEG-based spectral entropy. These results should be confirmed in a clinical setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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