Electroencephalographic features of discontinuous activity in anesthetized infants and children

Autoři: Uday Agrawal aff001;  Charles B. Berde aff001;  Laura Cornelissen aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223324



Discontinuous electroencephalographic activity in children is thought to reflect brain inactivation. Discontinuity has been observed in states of pathology, where it is predictive of adverse neurological outcome, as well as under general anesthesia. Though in preterm-infants discontinuity reflects normal brain development, less is known regarding its role in term children, particularly in the setting of general anesthesia. Here, we conduct a post-hoc exploratory analysis to investigate the spectral features of discontinuous activity in children under general anesthesia.


We previously recorded electroencephalography in children less than forty months of age under general anesthesia (n = 65). We characterized the relationship between age, anesthetic depth, and discontinuous activity, and used multitaper spectral methods to compare the power spectra of subjects with (n = 35) and without (n = 30) discontinuous activity. In the subjects with discontinuous activity, we examined the amplitude and power spectra associated with the discontinuities and analyzed how these variables varied with age.


Cumulative time of discontinuity was associated with increased anesthetic depth and younger age. In particular, age-matched children with discontinuity received higher doses of propofol during induction as compared with children without discontinuity. In the tens of seconds preceding the onset of discontinuous activity, there was a decrease in high-frequency power in children four months and older that could be visually observed with spectrograms. During discontinuous activity, there were distinctive patterns of amplitude, spectral edge, and power in canonical frequency bands that varied with age. Notably, there was a decline in spectral edge in the seconds immediately following each discontinuity.


Discontinuous activity in children reflects a state of a younger or more deeply anesthetized brain, and characteristic features of discontinuous activity evolve with age and may reflect neurodevelopment.

Klíčová slova:

Age groups – Anesthesia – Electrodes – Electroencephalography – Infants – Anesthetics – General anesthesia – Anesthesiology monitoring


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2019 Číslo 10
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