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Minerva Anestesiologica 2020 March;86(3):304-16

DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.19.13959-4

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Benefits and boundaries of processed electroencephalography (pEEG) monitors when they do not concur with standard anesthetic clinical monitoring: lights and shadows

Ashraf A. DAHABA

Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt



Numerous clinical conditions that have a direct effect on electroencephalography (EEG) cerebral function could also directly influence brain function monitors (BFM) indices. There is no conventional comparator technology for BFM assessment. The conventional comparator technology used as a benchmark for assessing BFMs technologies chosen by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to reflect the currently used standards in the National Health Service (NHS), was demarcated as “standard anesthetic clinical monitoring” and precisely defined as “the combination of routine clinical observation and electronic monitoring used in clinical practice to assess the adequacy of anesthesia.” Because BFMs are EEG-derived parameters, all conditions that can “alter” the raw EEG signal would subsequently change BFM indices to reflect other unrelated EEG events of patient-dependent pathophysiologic perturbations. In many instances we are often confronted with disparate BFM values that do not concur with “standard anesthetic clinical monitoring”. Changes in BFM indices during acute cerebral pathology would be highly beneficial to trained informed clinicians as it alerts to something they would not otherwise be aware was happening. This fact-based, citation-supported, narrative review article provides better understanding of BFMs’ limitations through examining various published reports of all values that did not coincide with a “standard anesthetic clinical monitoring” whether arising from an underlying alteration of patients’ own EEG or those due to shortcomings in the BFM design or performance. The notion of just “riding the numbers” seems to be not a good anesthesia practice; rather we should interpret these BFM indices within context and limitations.


KEY WORDS: Neurophysiological monitoring; Electroencephalography; Neurofeedback; Brain

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