Performance of the nasal photoplethysmographic index as an analgesic index during surgery under general anaesthesia

Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 28;10(1):7130. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-64033-0.


In a previous study, we developed a new analgesic index using nasal photoplethysmography (nasal photoplethysmographic index, NPI) and showed that the NPI was superior to the surgical pleth index (SPI) in distinguishing pain above numerical rating scale 3. Because the NPI was developed using data obtained from conscious patients with pain, we evaluated the performance of NPI in comparison with the SPI and the analgesia nociception index (ANI) in patients under general anaesthesia with target-controlled infusion of propofol and remifentanil. The time of nociception occurrence was defined as when the signs of inadequate anaesthesia occurred. The median values of NPI, SPI, and ANI for 1 minute from the time of the sign of inadequate anaesthesia were determined as the value of each analgesic index that represents inadequate anaesthesia. The time of no nociception was determined as 2 minutes before the onset of skin incision, and the median value for 1 minute from that time was defined as the baseline value. In total, 81 patients were included in the analysis. NPI showed good performance in distinguishing inadequate anaesthesia during propofol-remifentanil based general anaesthesia. NPI had the highest value in terms of area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, albeit without statistical significance (NPI: 0.733, SPI: 0.722, ANI: 0.668). The coefficient of variations of baseline values of NPI, SPI, and ANI were 27.5, 47.2, and 26.1, respectively. Thus, the NPI was effective for detecting inadequate anaesthesia, showing similar performance with both indices and less baseline inter-individual variability than the SPI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative
  • Nose*
  • Photoplethysmography / methods*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative*


  • Analgesics