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Epileptiform EEG during sevoflurane mask induction: Effect of delaying the onset of hyperventilation

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Hyperventilation during sevoflurane-N2O-O2 mask induction in adults is associated with a hyperdynamic circulatory response and epileptiform electroencephalogram (EEG). We tested the hypothesis that delaying onset of hyperventilation will prevent severe (periodic) epileptiform EEG and hyperdynamic response.


Thirty patients were randomized to receive either delayed (group D, n=15) or immediate (group I, n=15) onset of hyperventilation during sevoflurane (8% in N2O 50%) mask inhalation induction with single-breath method for unconsciousness. Fifteen patients were allowed to breathe spontaneously for 2 min after loss of consciousness and controlled hyperventilation (ETCO2 <4%) was started thereafter. In 15 patients controlled hyperventilation was started immediately after loss of consciousness. EEG was recorded, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) registered.


Epileptiform EEG patterns were seen in 13 patients in group I and in 9 patients in group D (n.s.). Periodic epileptiform discharges (PED) tended to occur more often in group I (P=0.07). Heart rate and MAP were higher in group I than in group D from 2 min to 3 min (P<0.05), and both HR and MAP rose significantly from the baseline in group I. In group D, HR but not MAP rose significantly from baseline.


Regardless of its timing, hyperventilation at a high sevoflurane concentration produced severe epileptiform EEG with a hyperdynamic response. PED tended to occur more often with immediate onset of hyperventilation ().

Keywords: EEG; Volatile anesthetics; epileptiform EEG; hyperventilation; sevoflurane

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, 2: Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Oulu University Central Hospital, Oulu, 3: Department of Anesthesia, Oulu University Central Hospital, Oulu, 4: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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