The Measurement of Neurovegetative Activity During Anesthesia and Surgery in Swine: An Evaluation of Different Techniques

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In this study we evaluated, in 10 sevoflurane-anesthetized pigs undergoing abdominal surgery, different techniques for measuring autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity: ANSiscope™ index, spectral analysis of heart-rate variability, hemodynamic variables, and plasma catecholamines and cortisol levels. Animals underwent a 120-min anesthesia during which unilateral ovariectomy was performed. Cardiovascular and respiratory responses were monitored. ANSiscope™ indices (ANSindex™ sympathetic, ANSindex™ parasympathetic and balANSindex™) were used to monitor ANS activity. Spectral analysis was performed using an autoregressive model with a parametric method. The low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) components were used to interpret the power spectral density of short-term electrocardiograms (ECGs). The relationship LF/(LF+HF) reflects sympathetic activity, HF/(LF+HF) indicates parasympathetic activity, and the LF/HF ratio gives the predominance of the system. Plasma concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol were determined at different times. Correlation (P < 0.01) was found between the balANSindex™ and adrenaline levels and between LF/HF ratio and plasma adrenaline concentrations. Moreover, a significant (P < 0.01) correlation was found between the balANSindex™ and LF/HF ratio. However, no correlation was seen between the registered ANSiscope indices and hemodynamic variables. The correlation seen in this study suggests that the balANSindex™ could be a useful tool to monitor ANS activity during anesthesia and surgery.

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