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Br J Anaesth. 2004 Jan;92(1):8-13.

Does bispectral analysis of the electroencephalogram add anything but complexity?

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Department of Anaesthesia, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand.



Analysis of the bispectrum of EEG waveforms is a component of the proprietary BIS index-a commonly used commercial monitor of depth of anaesthesia. Does the use of the bispectrum give more information about depth of anaesthesia than the power spectrum?


We collected and analysed EEG waveforms during induction of general anaesthesia in 39 patients, comparing the changes in bispectral parameter (SynchFastSlow), with an analogous power spectrum-based parameter (PowerFastSlow). Both compare the logarithmic ratio of high frequency components (40-47 Hz) with the total (1-47 Hz). Because the changes in bispectrum are affected by signal amplitude, we also calculated a third parameter (SFSbicoh) from the bicoherence, which is an amplitude-independent statistic.


The SynchFastSlow and PowerFastSlow were correlated (r=0.84) and neither was superior in predicting the awake or anaesthetized state (area under receiver operating characteristic curves = 0.85 vs 0.93). There was no change in the SFSbicoh over the induction period, and it did not correlate with SynchFastSlow (r=0.07).


We could not show that bispectral analysis gave more information than power spectral-based analysis. Most of the changes in the bispectral values result from decreases in the relative high frequency content of the EEG caused by anaesthesia.

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