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Anesthesiology. 2007 Apr;106(4):696-706.

Behavior of entropy/complexity measures of the electroencephalogram during propofol-induced sedation: dose-dependent effects of remifentanil.

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Tampere University of Technology, Information Technology, Pori, Finland.



Several new measures based on the regularity of the electroencephalogram signal for the assessment of depth of anesthesia/sedation have been proposed recently. In this study we analyze the influence of remifentanil and electroencephalogram frequency content of the performance of a set of such measures.


Forty-five patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I were randomly allocated to one of three groups according to the received dose of predicted effect compartment-controlled remifentanil (0, 2, and 4 ng/ml). All 45 patients received stepwise increased effect site concentration-controlled dose of propofol. At every step of propofol increase, the Observer's Assessment of Alertness/Sedation score was assessed. The following measures were calculated from the electroencephalographic signal: spectral entropy, approximate entropy, Higuchi fractal dimension, Lempel-Ziv complexity, relative beta ratio, and SyncFastSlow measure.


The behavior of the electroencephalogram-based measures is highly sensitive to the frequency content of the signal and the dose of remifentanil. The prediction probability with respect to the Observer's Assessment of Alertness/Sedation score of the most discriminative measure, the Higuchi fractal dimension, dropped from 0.90 (electroencephalographic frequency band 6-47 Hz, no remifentanil) to 0.55 when the frequency band was changed to 0.5-19 Hz and to 0.83 when remifentanil concentration was increased to 4 ng/ml. The coeffect of remifentanil on electroencephalographic regularity is bimodal depending on the frequency band of the signal.


Cutting off high frequencies from the electroencephalogram and increased remifentanil concentration deteriorate the performance of the electroencephalogram-based entropy/complexity measures as indicators of the depth of propofol sedation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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