Impact of bispectral index monitoring on stress response and propofol consumption in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery

Michael Bauer, Wolfram Wilhelm, Thomas Kraemer, Sascha Kreuer, Andreas Brandt, Hans Anton Adams, Gudrun Hoff, Reinhard Larsen
Anesthesiology 2004, 101 (5): 1096-104

BACKGROUND: Bispectral Index (BIS)-titrated administration allows a reduction of propofol infusion rates in patients undergoing surgery. Resulting differences in anesthetic depth might affect the stress response to surgery involving neural circuitry not reflected in the electroencephalogram.

METHODS: Forty patients scheduled to undergo elective coronary artery bypass grafting receiving a background infusion of remifentanil (0.3 microg . kg . min) were anesthetized with intravenous propofol delivered by target-controlled infusion according to the Marsh pharmacokinetic model under BIS monitoring. In a randomized, prospective design, 20 patients received propofol at a target concentration of 3 microg/ml, whereas in 20 patients propofol was titrated to maintain a BIS value of 40-50. Plasma concentrations of propofol (by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry), epinephrine, norepinephrine (by means of high-pressure liquid chromatography), cortisol (by means of radioimmunoassay), and interleukins 6 and 10 (by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) were measured repeatedly throughout surgery.

RESULTS: BIS monitoring allowed a 30% reduction of propofol infusion rates and a similar decrease in plasma propofol concentrations in the BIS group without affecting the stress response to surgery for the group mean. None of the patients reported awareness during a standardized interview. Interestingly, propofol-remifentanil anesthesia blunted the release of epinephrine and cortisol to bypass surgery completely even when the propofol infusion rate was reduced according to BIS values.

CONCLUSIONS: Total intravenous anesthesia using propofol-remifentanil effectively attenuates the neurohumoral stress response to coronary bypass surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass. Titration of propofol using BIS allows for significant reduction of propofol consumption, with only minor effects on stress response under these conditions.

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