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Subjective assessment of depth of anaesthesia by experienced and inexperienced anaesthetists

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2006

D. Hadzidiakos
Affiliation:
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Anaesthesiology, Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany
A. Nowak
Affiliation:
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Anaesthesiology, Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany
N. Laudahn
Affiliation:
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Anaesthesiology, Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany
J. Baars
Affiliation:
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Anaesthesiology, Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany
K. Herold
Affiliation:
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Anaesthesiology, Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany
B. Rehberg
Affiliation:
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Anaesthesiology, Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany
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Summary

Background and objective: To measure ‘depth of anaesthesia’, anaesthesiologists use a combination of observable end-points such as immobility and autonomic stability. Unconsciousness and amnesia are not reliably observable end-points, but correlate with parameters derived from the electroencephalogram. We investigated the association of subjective assessment and electroencephalographic measures of anaesthetic depth in a group of experienced (>4 yr of experience) and a group of inexperienced (<2 yr of experience) anaesthesiologists. Methods: One hundred ASA I or II patients were assigned to either group. Anaesthesiologists assessed ‘anaesthetic depth’ using an 11-point numeric and a 5-point verbal scale. Bispectral index and spectral entropy were recorded as electroencephalogram parameters. The association between the subjective assessment and the electroencephalogram parameters was calculated using the prediction probability, PK. Results: Association between subjective assessment and electroencephalographic parameters showed a tendency to a better prediction probability in the experienced group. The difference was significant (P < 0.05) for the bispectral index (PK 0.76 ± 0.01 for experienced and 0.71 ± 0.01 for inexperienced anaesthesiologists). In both groups, a large percentage of the data points recorded during surgery showed bispectral index values above the recommended value of 60 (13.2% in the experienced and 34.3% in the inexperienced group) despite a subjective assessment of ‘deep’ or ‘very deep’ anaesthetic depth. Conclusion: The study demonstrates that the association between subjectively assigned values of anaesthetic depth and electroencephalographic parameters of anaesthetic depth is better for anaesthesiologists with more clinical experience. However, in the ‘inexperienced’ as well as ‘experienced’ group a high percentage of bispectral index and entropy values above 60 occurred despite a subjective assessment of adequate anaesthetic depth. Although there was no evidence for explicit memory, this may indicate a risk for memory formation.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© 2006 European Society of Anaesthesiology

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