Processed EEG monitoring for anesthesia and intensive care practice

Minerva Anestesiol. 2019 Nov;85(11):1219-1230. doi: 10.23736/S0375-9393.19.13478-5. Epub 2019 Oct 14.


Individual response to sedatives and hypnotics is characterized by high variability and the identification of a personalized dose during anesthesia in the operating room and during sedation in the intensive care unit may have beneficial effects. Although the brain is the main target of general intravenous and inhaled anesthetic agents, electroencephalography (EEG) is not routinely utilized to explore cerebral response to sedation and anesthesia probably because EEG trace reading is complex and requires encephalographers' skills. Automated processing algorithms (processed EEG, pEEG) of raw EEG traces provide easy-to-use indices that can be utilized to optimize anesthetic management. A large number of high-quality studies and the recommendations of international scientific societies have confirmed the deleterious consequences of inadequate or excessively deep anesthesia (and sedation) level. In this context, anesthesia in the operating rooms and moderate/deep sedation in intensive care units driven by pEEG monitors could become a standard practice in the near future. The aim of the present review was to provide an overview of current knowledge and debate on available technologies for pEEG monitoring and their role in clinical practice for anesthesia and sedation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia*
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Deep Sedation
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Electroencephalography / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring / methods*
  • Operating Rooms
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis