Electroencephalographic Response to Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest in Neonatal Swine and Humans

Ann Thorac Surg. 2018 Dec;106(6):1841-1846. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.06.036. Epub 2018 Jul 30.


Background: Piglets are used to study neurologic effects of deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA), but no studies have compared human and swine electroencephalogram (EEG) responses to DHCA. The importance of isoelectricity before circulatory arrest is not fully known in neonates. We compared the EEG response to DHCA in human neonates and piglets.

Methods: We recorded 2 channel, left and right centroparietal, subdermal EEG in 10 neonatal patients undergoing operations involving DHCA and 10 neonatal piglets that were placed on cardiopulmonary bypass and underwent a simulated procedure using DHCA. EEG waveforms were analyzed for the presence and extent of burst suppression and isoelectricity by automated moving window analysis. The patients were monitored with 16-channel array EEG for 48 hours postoperatively and underwent postoperative brain magnetic resonance imaging.

Results: After induction of anesthesia, humans and piglets both displayed slowing or brief suppression, then mild burst suppression, and then severe burst suppression during cooling. All piglets subsequently achieved isoelectricity at 22.4° ± 6.9°C, whereas only 1 human did at 20.2°C. Piglets and humans emerged from severe, mild, and then brief suppression patterns during rewarming. Among the patients, there were no seizures during postoperative monitoring and 1 instance of increased white matter injury on postoperative magnetic resonance imaging.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that current cooling strategies may not be sufficient to eliminate all EEG activity before circulatory arrest in humans but are sufficient in swine. This important difference between the swine and human response to DHCA should be considered when using this model.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / methods
  • Circulatory Arrest, Deep Hypothermia Induced*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Swine