The effect of hemispheric synchronization on intraoperative analgesia

Anesth Analg. 2004 Feb;98(2):533-536. doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000096181.89116.D2.


In this double-blinded randomized study, we sought to confirm that patients undergoing general anesthesia who were exposed to a hemispheric synchronization (Hemi-Sync) musical recording during surgery had a smaller analgesia requirement, as was suggested in a previous study. Bispectral index monitoring was used to adjust depth of hypnosis, and hemodynamic variables were used to determine analgesia administration. Consented patients underwent either laparoscopic bariatric or one-level lumbar disk surgery. After endotracheal intubation and application of headphones, baseline heart rate and arterial blood pressure were established. Isoflurane was titrated to maintain sedation on the basis of a target bispectral index range of 40-60, and 25-microg increments of fentanyl were administered in response to increases in heart rate and systolic arterial blood pressure. Bariatric patients who listened to Hemi-Sync required one-third less fentanyl than the control group (mean [SD]: 0.015 [0.01] vs 0.024 [0.01]) (P = 0.009). It is interesting to note that lumbar patients in the experimental and control groups required similar amounts of fentanyl (0.012 [0.01] vs 0.015 [0.01]). End-tidal isoflurane concentration was similar for Hemi-Sync and blank-tape patients (bariatric, 0.74% (0.14) vs 0.77% (0.21); lumbar, 0.36% [0.16] vs 0.39% [0.12]). The bariatric patients in this study demonstrated that Hemi-Sync may be an innovative intraoperative supplement to analgesia.

Implications: The purpose of this study was to determine the decrease in analgesia requirement for patients listening to hemispheric synchronization (musical tones) while under general anesthesia. We demonstrated that bariatric patients who listened to hemispheric synchronization had a smaller analgesia requirement than those who listened to a blank tape.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia*
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cortical Synchronization*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects
  • Fentanyl
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / surgery
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Isoflurane
  • Laparoscopy
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative
  • Music / psychology*


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Isoflurane
  • Fentanyl