Elevated BIS and Entropy values after sugammadex or neostigmine: an electroencephalographic or electromyographic phenomenon?

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Sugammadex is designed to antagonize neuromuscular blockade (NMB) induced by rocuronium or vecuronium. In clinical practice, we have noticed a rise in the numerical values of bispectral index (BIS) and Entropy, two electroencephalogram (EEG) – based depth of anesthesia monitors, during the reversal of the NMB with sugammadex. The aim of this prospective, randomized, double-blind study was to test this impression and to compare the effects of sugammadex and neostigmine on the BIS and Entropy values during the reversal of the NMB.


Thirty patients undergoing gynecological operations were studied. Patients were anesthetized with target-controlled infusions of propofol and remifentanil, and rocuronium was used to induce NMB. After operation, during light propofol-remifentanil anesthesia, NMB was antagonized with sugammadex or neostigmine. During the following 5 min, the numerical values of BIS, BIS electromyographic (BIS EMG) and Entropy were recorded on a laptop computer, as well as the biosignal recorded by the Entropy strip. The Entropy biosignal was studied off-line both in time and frequency domain to see if NMB reversal causes changes in EEG.


In some patients, administration of sugammadex or neostigmine caused a significant rise in the numerical values of BIS, BIS EMG and Entropy. This phenomenon was most likely caused by increased electromyographic (EMG) activity. The administration of sugammadex or neostigmine appeared to have only minimal effect on EEG.


The EMG contamination of EEG causes BIS and Entropy values to rise during reversal of rocuronium-induced NMB in light propofol-remifentanil anesthesia.

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