Background: The aim of this study was to examine to what extent the use of electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring leads to an adaptation of the target-controlled infusion (TCI) concentration of propofol during propofol anaesthesia with different doses of remifentanil.
Patients and methods: With ethics committee approval 60 patients (27-69 years old) with American Society of Anesthesiologists classification (ASA) I-III received anaesthestics with propofol (TCI, Diprifusor, AstraZeneca, Wedel, Deutschland) and 0.2, 0.4, or 0.6 microg/kg body weight remifentanil, respectively (groups 1-3). Anaesthesia was maintained at a level of deep hypnosis (EEG stages D(2)/E(0), EEG monitor: Narcotrend, version 2.0/5.0, manufacturer: MT MonitorTechnik, Bad Bramstedt, Germany).
Results: During the steady state the propofol concentration in groups 1-3 was 3.02+/-0.86, 1.93+/-0.53 and 1.60+/-0.55 microg/ml, respectively (p<0.001). Women had a higher propofol consumption than men (p<0.05). Dreams during anaesthesia were more often reported by women than by men (p<0.05). The need for postoperative analgesia decreased with an increasing intraoperative remifentanil dose (p<0.05).
Conclusions: The study demonstrates that remifentanil has both analgetic and hypnotic effects. With increasing remifentanil dose the propofol requirement decreased and in this context EEG monitoring is useful to adapt the target concentrations of propofol to the patients' age and gender.