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Br J Anaesth. 2009 Feb;102(2):227-33. doi: 10.1093/bja/aen356. Epub 2008 Dec 25.

Facial muscle activity, Response Entropy, and State Entropy indices during noxious stimuli in propofol-nitrous oxide or propofol-nitrous oxide-remifentanil anaesthesia without neuromuscular block.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Tampere University Hospital, PO Box 2000, 33521 Tampere, Finland.



Entropy is an anaesthetic EEG monitoring method, calculating two numerical parameters: State Entropy (SE, range 0-91) and Response Entropy (RE, range 0-100). Low Entropy numbers indicate unconsciousness. SE uses the frequency range 0.8-32 Hz, representing predominantly the EEG activity. RE is calculated at 0.8-47 Hz, consisting of both EEG and facial EMG. RE-SE difference (RE-SE) can indicate EMG, reflecting nociception. We studied RE-SE and EMG in patients anaesthetized without neuromuscular blockers.


Thirty-one women were studied in propofol-nitrous oxide (P) or propofol-nitrous oxide-remifentanil (PR) anaesthesia. Target SE value was 40-60. RE-SE was measured before and after endotracheal intubation, and before and after the commencement of surgery. The spectral content of the signal was analysed off-line. Appearance of EMG on EEG was verified visually.


RE, SE, and RE-SE increased during intubation in both groups. Elevated RE was followed by increased SE values in most cases. In these patients, spectral analysis of the signal revealed increased activity starting from low (<20 Hz) frequency area up to the highest measured frequencies. This was associated with appearance of EMG in raw signal. No spectral alterations or EMG were seen in patients with stable Entropy values.


Increased RE is followed by increased SE at nociceptive stimuli in patients not receiving neuromuscular blockers. Owing to their overlapping power spectra, the contribution of EMG and EEG cannot be accurately separated with frequency analysis in the range of 10-40 Hz.

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