Previous studies have attempted to determine the depth of anaesthesia with different anaesthetic agents using electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements with variable success. Measuring depth of anaesthesia is confounded by the complexity of the EEG and the fact that different agents create different pattens. A narrative review was undertaken to examine the available research evidence on the effect and reliability of spectral edge frequency (SEF) for assessing the depth of anaesthesia in adult patients under general anaesthesia. A systematic search of the PubMed®, Scopus®, CINAHL and Cochrane databases identified six randomized controlled trials and five observational studies. The findings of these studies suggest that SEF varies according to the anaesthetic drugs used. Remifentanil and age are two factors that can affect SEF, while other opioids and benzodiazepine (administered separately) seem to have no effect. No patients experienced intraoperative awareness. However, this does not indicate that SEF can provide full protection against it and the number of articles in which intraoperative awareness was studied was too small to afford any certainty. None of the studies demonstrated a reliable SEF interval associated with adequate general anaesthesia. SEF must be adapted to the anaesthetic drug used, the patient’s age and state while under general anaesthesia.
- Anestesi och intensivvård