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New SHTAC report on depth of anaesthesia monitors (E-entropy, BIS and Nacrotrend)

Published: 5 September 2013
Monitoring depth of anaesthesia

A systematic review and economic evaluation of depth of anaesthesia monitors (E-entropy, BIS and Nacrotrend) is now available.

The report ‘Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of depth of anaesthesia monitoring (E-Entropy, Bispectral Index and Narcotrend): a systematic review and economic evaluation' is published in the internationally renowned Health Technology Assessment monograph series, which is now part of the new NIHR Journals Library.

During general anaesthesia it is important to monitor the patient to ensure the level of anaesthesia given does not put them at risk of intraoperative awareness, or of anaesthetic-related morbidity. The monitoring devices measure electrical brain activity to provide anaesthetists with a measure of the level of unconsciousness. They can use this in combination with observation of the patient's clinical signs (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate) to adjust the anaesthetic dose as necessary. The report found that there is some evidence that Bispectral Index, E-Entropy and Narcotrend technologies can successfully be used to measure depth of general anaesthesia in surgical patients.

In January 2013 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued guidance to the health service in England and Wales based on the SHTAC report, recommending the use of the three devices as options for monitoring the patient's response to general anaesthetic drugs during surgery, in combination with standard clinical monitoring.  

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