Hemispheric-synchronisation during anaesthesia: a double-blind randomised trial using audiotapes for intra-operative nociception control

Anaesthesia. 1999 Aug;54(8):769-73. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2044.1999.00958.x.


The possible antinociceptive effect of hemispheric-synchronised sounds, classical music and blank tape were investigated in patients undergoing surgery under general anaesthesia. The study was performed on 76 patients, ASA 1 or 2, aged 18-75 years using a double-blind randomised design. Each of the three tapes was allocated to the patients according to a computer-generated random number table. General anaesthesia was standardised and consisted of propofol, nitrous oxide 66%/oxygen 33%, isoflurane and fentanyl. Patients breathed spontaneously through a laryngeal mask and the end-tidal isoflurane concentration was maintained near to its minimum alveolar concentration value of 1.2%. Fentanyl was given intravenously sufficient to keep the intra-operative heart rate and arterial blood pressure within 20% of pre-operative baseline values and the fentanyl requirements were used as a measure of nociception control. Patients to whom hemispheric-synchronised sounds were played under general anaesthesia required significantly less fentanyl compared with patients listening to classical music or blank tape (mean values: 28 microgram, 124 microgram and 126 microg, respectively) (p < 0.001). This difference remained significant when regression analysis was used to control for the effects of age and sex.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / administration & dosage
  • Awareness
  • Cortical Synchronization*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Fentanyl / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music


  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Fentanyl