Evaluation of the brain anaesthesia response monitor during anaesthesia for cardiac surgery: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial using two doses of fentanyl


The brain anaesthesia response (BAR) monitor uses a method of EEG analysis, based on a model of brain electrical activity, to monitor the cerebral response to anaesthetic and sedative agents via two indices, composite cortical state (CCS) and cortical input (CI). It was hypothesised that CCS would respond to the hypnotic component of anaesthesia and CI would differentiate between two groups of patients receiving different doses of fentanyl. Twenty-five patients scheduled to undergo elective first-time coronary artery bypass graft surgery were randomised to receive a total fentanyl dose of either 12 μg/kg (fentanyl low dose, FLD) or 24 μg/kg (fentanyl moderate dose, FMD), both administered in two divided doses. Propofol was used for anaesthesia induction and pancuronium for intraoperative paralysis. Hemodynamic management was protocolised using vasoactive drugs. BIS, CCS and CI were simultaneously recorded. Response of the indices (CI, CCS and BIS) to propofol and their differences between the two groups at specific points from anaesthesia induction through to aortic cannulation were investigated. Following propofol induction, CCS and BIS but not CI showed a significant reduction. Following the first dose of fentanyl, CI, CCS and BIS decreased in both groups. Following the second dose of fentanyl, there was a significant reduction in CI in the FLD group but not the FMD group, with no significant change found for BIS or CCS in either group. The BAR monitor demonstrates the potential to monitor the level of hypnosis following anaesthesia induction with propofol via the CCS index and to facilitate the titration of fentanyl as a component of balanced anaesthesia via the CI index.

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We acknowledge the assistance of Ms Simone Said (research nurse) during the trial.

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Correspondence to Mehrnaz Shoushtarian.

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Conflict of interest

This study was supported by funding from Cortical Dynamics Ltd. Mehrnaz Shoushtarian, Louis Delacretaz and David Liley are employed by Cortical Dynamics Ltd., North Perth, WA, Australia.

Ethical standards

The experiments conducted in this trial comply with current laws governing conduct of clinical trials in Australia.

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Calculation of CCS and CI from Linearised Liley Model. (PDF 262 kb)

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Shoushtarian, M., McGlade, D.P., Delacretaz, L.J. et al. Evaluation of the brain anaesthesia response monitor during anaesthesia for cardiac surgery: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial using two doses of fentanyl. J Clin Monit Comput 30, 833–844 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10877-015-9780-x

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  • Depth of anaesthesia
  • BAR monitor
  • Hypnosis
  • Analgesia