Detection of consciousness by electroencephalogram and auditory evoked potentials

Gerhard Schneider, Regina Hollweck, Michael Ningler, Gudrun Stockmanns, Eberhard F. Kochs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: A set of electroencephalographic and auditory evoked potential (AEP) parameters should be identified that allows separation of consciousness from unconsciousness (reflected by responsiveness/unresponsiveness to command). Methods: Forty unpremedicated patients received anesthesia with remifentanil and either sevoflurane or propofol. With remifentanil infusion (0.2 μg · kg-1 · min-1), patients were asked every 30 s to squeeze the investigator's hand. Sevoflurane or propofol was given until loss of consciousness. After intubation, propofol or sevoflurane was stopped until patients followed the command (return of consciousness). Thereafter, propofol or sevoflurane was started again (loss of consciousness), and surgery was performed. Return of consciousness was observed after surgery. The electroencephalogram and AEP from immediately before and after the transitions were selected. Logistic regression was calculated to identify models for the separation between consciousness and unconsciousness. For the top 10 models, 1,000-fold cross-validation was performed. Backward variable selection was applied to identify a minimal model. Prediction probability was calculated. The digitized electroencephalogram was replayed, and the Bispectral Index was measured and accordingly analyzed. Results: The best full model (prediction probability 0.89) contained 15 AEP and 4 electroencephalographic parameters. The best minimal model (prediction probability 0.87) contained 2 AEP and 2 electroencephalographic parameters (median frequency of the amplitude spectrum from 8-30 Hz and approximate entropy). The prediction probability of the Bispectral Index was 0.737. Conclusions: A combination of electroencephalographic and AEP parameters can be used to differentiate between consciousness and unconsciousness even in a very challenging data set. The minimal model contains a combination of AEP and electroencephalographic parameters and has a higher prediction probability than Bispectral Index for the separation between consciousness and unconsciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-943
Number of pages10
JournalAnesthesiology
Volume103
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

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