Since its introduction in 1996, the Bispectral Index (BIS) has gained increasing popularity in daily anesthesia practice. However, numerous reports have been appearing in the literature of paradoxical BIS changes and inaccurate readings. The purpose of this review is to assess the utility of BIS monitoring through examining the various published reports of all BIS values not coinciding with a clinically judged sedative-hypnotic state, whether arising from an underlying pathophysiology of electroencephalographic (EEG) cerebral function or because of shortcomings in the performance and design of the BIS monitor. High electromyographic activity and electric device interference could create subtle artifact signal pollution without their necessarily being displayed as artifacts. This would be misinterpreted by the BIS algorithm as EEG activity and assigned a spuriously increased BIS value. Numerous clinical conditions that have a direct effect on EEG cerebral function could also directly influence the BIS value.