Epileptiform patterns, spikes, polyspikes and periodic epileptiform discharges (PED) have been reported in electroencephalograms (EEGs) during anaesthesia induction with sevoflurane in healthy adults and children. Published recordings have been performed with a limited number of channels, and therefore the topographic distributions of these patterns are not known.Methods
Twenty ASA I children aged 4–10 years undergoing routine operations were anaesthetized with 8% sevoflurane in 50%/50% oxygen and nitrous oxide using mask induction with controlled normoventilation. An EEG was recorded with a full 10–20 electrode system including orbitofrontal and ear electrodes, and a recording band of 0.016–70 Hz. Beat-to-beat heart rate (HR) was calculated off-line.Results
Nineteen out of 20 children developed multifocal spikes and polyspikes with a maximum over the frontal lobes. Four patients developed suppression, which was almost continuous and lasted several minutes, and thereafter a continuous EEG resumed, a few spikes were seen and then a nonepileptiform pattern. In three children a couple of PED waves were seen at the onset of a continuous EEG. HR increased maximally before the onset of spikes. No motor phenomena were seen.Conclusion
These recordings confirm the epileptogenic property of sevoflurane in mask induction. The spikes and polyspikes had frontal multifocal maxima and may be missed in recordings from frontopolar electrodes used by depth-of-anaesthesia monitors. PED and burst suppression were synchronous over the whole cortex. Epileptiform activity was indiscernible from epileptiform waveforms without anaesthesia, such as the patterns seen in status epilepticus.