Concentration-dependent suppression of F-waves by sevoflurane does not predict immobility to painful stimuli in humans.

TitleConcentration-dependent suppression of F-waves by sevoflurane does not predict immobility to painful stimuli in humans.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBaars JH, Kalisch D, Herold KF, Hadzidiakos DA, Rehberg B
JournalBr J Anaesth
Date Published2005 Dec
KeywordsAdult, Anesthetics, Inhalation, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Electric Stimulation, Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Female, Humans, Methyl Ethers, Middle Aged, Monitoring, Intraoperative, Motor Neurons, Movement, Reflex, Spinal Cord

BACKGROUND: Decreased spinal excitability contributes to the immobilizing effects of halogenated ethers during general anaesthesia. Recurrent spinal responses such as F-waves reflect spinal excitability and are suppressed by volatile anaesthetics. To evaluate whether F-waves are suitable for monitoring immobility, the concentration-dependent effects of sevoflurane on F-waves were compared with effects on the Bispectral Index (BIS). The predictive power of all parameters for movement responses to noxious stimuli was tested. In addition, the effect of the noxious stimulus itself on F-waves was investigated.

METHODS: In 28 patients, F-waves were recorded during sevoflurane anaesthesia at a frequency of 0.2 Hz at the lower limb. To insert a laryngeal mask, the sevoflurane concentration was initially increased to approximately 4%, which caused a complete extinction of F-waves. The sevoflurane concentration was then reduced until the F-waves recovered. BIS and spectral edge frequency (SEF(95)) were recorded continuously. The t(1/2ke0) and EC(50) values of the F-wave persistence and amplitude were calculated using a standard pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model. During decreasing sevoflurane concentration motor responses to tetanic electrical stimulation (50 Hz, 60 mA, 5 s, volar forearm) were tested in seven patients and MAC(tetanus) was calculated using logistic regression.

RESULTS: Sevoflurane reduces the F-wave amplitude with an EC(50) of 0.79 vol% at a far lower concentration than the calculated MAC(tetanus) (1.5 vol%), whereas the F-wave persistence yields an EC(50) of 1.4 vol%. Spinal and EEG parameters predicted the motor responses to movement better than chance alone, but did not differ significantly from each other.

CONCLUSION: F-waves, especially the F-wave amplitude, cannot be used to predict movement to noxious stimuli during sevoflurane anaesthesia because they are almost completely suppressed at subclinical sevoflurane concentrations. Either the particular motoneurone pool (the largest motoneurones) assessed by F-waves is not involved in generating movement to painful stimuli or direct effects on motoneurone excitability are not involved in the suppression of movement to painful stimuli by sevoflurane.

Alternate JournalBr J Anaesth
PubMed ID16199415