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Br J Anaesth. 2009 Mar;102(3):336-9. doi: 10.1093/bja/aen403. Epub 2009 Feb 2.

Ketamine has no effect on bispectral index during stable propofol-remifentanil anaesthesia.

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CUB Erasmus Hospital, University Department of Anaesthesia-Reanimation, Route de Lennik, 808, Brussels, Belgium.



Ketamine 0.15-1 mg kg(-1) decreases postoperative morphine consumption, but 0.5 mg kg(-1) is associated with an increase in the bispectral index (BIS) values that can lead to an overdose of hypnotic agents. The purpose of our investigation was to study the effect of ketamine 0.2 mg kg(-1) administered over a 5 min period on the BIS during stable target-controlled infusion (TCI) propofol-remifentanil general anaesthesia.


Thirty ASA I or II patients undergoing abdominal laparoscopic surgery were included in this double-blind, randomized study. Anaesthesia was induced and maintained with a TCI of propofol and remifentanil. After 5 min of steady-state anaesthesia (BIS at 40) without surgical stimulation, patients received either an infusion of ketamine 0.2 mg kg(-1) or normal saline. The test drug was infused over 5 min. Standard parameters and BIS values were recorded every minute until 15 min post-infusion.


The baseline mean (sd) value for the BIS was 37 (6.5) for the ketamine group and 39 (8.2) for the placebo group. The highest mean BIS value during the recording period was 41.5 (8.7) for the ketamine group and 40.1 (8.9) for the placebo group. BIS values were not statistically different between the groups (P=0.62); there was no significant change over time (P=0.65) with no group-time interaction (P=0.55).


Under stable propofol and remifentanil TCI anaesthesia, a slow bolus infusion of ketamine 0.2 mg kg(-1) administered over a 5 min period did not increase the BIS value over the next 15 min.

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