• Monitoring: bispectral analysis;
  • anesthesia: depth;
  • inhaled anesthetic: isoflurane;
  • outcome, anesthesia: recovery, emergence time

Background: Bispectral index (BIS) monitoring has been found to decrease the requirements for propofol, sevoflurane and desflurane and to improve recovery. We wanted to assess the effect of BIS monitoring on intraoperative isoflurane utilisation, and the early recovery profile.

Methods: Eighty patients undergoing various surgical procedures were studied. In the first phase of the study, patients were anaesthetised without the use of BIS, the anaesthetists being blinded to the BIS readings, and isoflurane being administered according to standard clinical practice (control group). In a second phase, isoflurane was titrated to maintain a BIS value between 40 and 60 during surgery, and then 60–70 during 15 min prior to the end of surgery (BIS group). Isoflurane consumption was measured. Recovery times and the time to achieve a modified Aldrete score of 9 were recorded.

Results: Despite similar mean BIS levels during maintenance of anaesthesia, the cumulative time spent with BIS values between 40 and 60 during maintenance of anaesthesia was significantly longer in the BIS group as compared with the control group (P<0.001). The isoflurane usage in the BIS group was 12–25% lower than in the control group (P<0.05). The time to awakening and extubation were comparable in the two groups. Although the patients were less sedated (P<0.01) during the three postoperative hours in the BIS (vs. control) group, no significant differences were observed in the time to obtain an Aldrete score of 9.

Conclusion: The addition of BIS to standard monitoring decreases isoflurane consumption. However, we found only a small advantage in using BIS with respect to recovery from isoflurane anaesthesia.