Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Direct Current Auditory Evoked Potentials During Wakefulness, Anesthesia, and Emergence from Anesthesia

By Robert Fitzgerald, Claus Lamm, Wolfgang Oczenski, Thomas Stimpfl, Walter Vycudilik and Herbert Bauer


Direct current auditory evoked potentials (DC-AEPs) are a sensitive indicator of depth of anesthesia in ani-mals. However, they have never been investigated in humans. To assess the potential usefulness of DC-AEPs as an indicator of anesthesia in humans, we performed an explorative study in which DC-AEPs were recorded during propofol and methohexital anesthesia in hu-mans. DC-AEPs were recorded via 22 scalp electrodes in 19 volunteers randomly assigned to receive either propofol or methohexital. DC-AEPs were evoked by binaurally presented 2-s, 60-dB, 800-Hz tones; meas-urements were taken during awake baseline, anesthesia, and emergence. Statistical analysis included analy-sis of variance and discriminant analysis of data acquired during these three conditions. About 500 ms after stimulus presentation, DC-AEPs could be ob-served. These potentials were present only during base-line and emergence—not during anesthesia. Statistically significant differences were found between baseline and anesthesia and between anesthesia and emergence. In conclusion, similar effects, as reported in animal studies of anesthetics on the DC-AEPs, could be observed in anesthetized humans. These results dem-onstrate that DC-AEPs are potentially useful in the assessment of cortical function during anesthesia and might qualify the method for monitoring anesthesia in humans

Topics: Brain Imaging, Clinical Psychology, Neuropharmacology, Neurophysiology, Physiological Psychology
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1097/00000539-200101000-00030
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1981). A priori tests in repeated measures designs: effects of nonsphericity. Psychometrika
  2. Brain potentials evoked by acoustic stimuli. In:
  3. Contribution of glia and neurons to the surface-negative potentials of the cerebral cortex during its electrical stimulation. doi
  4. (1998). Contribution of potassium currents and glia to slow potential shifts (SPSs).
  5. (1997). Cortical activity of good and poor spatial test performers during spatial and verbal processing studied with slow potential topography.
  6. Currents of the human auditory cortex in the cat.
  7. (1971). DC-potentials in the auditory response in man.
  8. (1998). Effect of isoflurane on the auditory steady-state response and on consciousness in human volunteers. doi
  9. (1987). Effect of the acute administration of high dose pentobarbital on human brain stem auditory and median nerve somatosensory evoked responses.
  10. (1986). Evoked potentials during isoflurane anaesthesia.
  11. (1998). Evoked responses in anaesthesia.
  12. (1985). hand and brain: the right shift theory.
  13. (1978). Human auditory sustained potentials. I. The nature of the response. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol
  14. (1991). Long-latency auditory evoked potentials during general anesthesia: N1 and P3 components. Anesth Analg doi
  15. Middle latency auditory evoked potentials during repeated transitions from consciousness to unconsciousness.
  16. (1997). Midlatency auditory evoked potentials and motor signs of wakefulness during anaesthesia with midazolam.
  17. (1996). Midlatency auditory evoked potentials as indicators of perceptual processing during general anesthesia.
  18. Monitoring depth of anesthesia.
  19. On methods in the analysis of profile data.
  20. Principles of electric response audiometry.
  21. Reizkorrelierte Gleichspannungs-änderungen der primären. Hörrinde an der wachen Katze. Pflügers Arch 1969;306:281–9.
  22. (1998). Slow potential topography.
  23. (1990). Slow potentials of the cerebral cortex and behavior. Physiol Rev
  24. (1989). Technical requirements for high-quality scalp DC recordings. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol
  25. (1987). The continuing problem of false positives in repeated measures ANOVA in psychophysiology: a multivariate solution. Psychophysiology
  26. (1991). The human auditory steadystate evoked potentials. Acta Otolaryngol doi
  27. (1991). The long-latency auditory evoked potential as a measure of the level of consciousness during sufentanil anesthesia. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.