Functional connectivity changes with concentration of sevoflurane anesthesia.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University/Georgia Tech, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.64). 03/2005; 16(3):285-8. DOI: 10.1097/00001756-200502280-00017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Low-frequency oscillations (<0.08 Hz) have been detected in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, and appear to be synchronized between functionally related areas. The effect of anesthetic agents on cortical activity is not completely characterized. This study assessed the effect of anesthesia on the temporal relations in activity in the motor cortices. Resting-state magnetic resonance data were acquired on six volunteers under different anesthetic states (using 0.0%, 2.0% and 1.0% stable end-tidal sevoflurane). Across all volunteers, the number of significant voxels (p<2.5 x 10) in the functional connectivity maps was reduced by 78% for light anesthesia and by 98% for deep anesthesia, compared with the awake state. Additionally, significant correlations in the connectivity maps were bilateral in the awake state but unilateral in the light anesthesia state.

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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism of loss of consciousness (LOC) under anesthesia is unknown. Because consciousness depends on activity in the cortico-thalamic network, anesthetic actions on this network are likely critical for LOC. Competing theories stress the importance of anesthetic actions on bottom-up "core" thalamo-cortical (TC) vs. top-down cortico-cortical (CC) and matrix TC connections. We tested these models using laminar recordings in rat auditory cortex in vivo and murine brain slices. We selectively activated bottom-up vs. top-down afferent pathways using sensory stimuli in vivo and electrical stimulation in brain slices, and compared effects of isoflurane on responses evoked via the two pathways. Auditory stimuli in vivo and core TC afferent stimulation in brain slices evoked short latency current sinks in middle layers, consistent with activation of core TC afferents. By contrast, visual stimuli in vivo and stimulation of CC and matrix TC afferents in brain slices evoked responses mainly in superficial and deep layers, consistent with projection patterns of top-down afferents that carry visual information to auditory cortex. Responses to auditory stimuli in vivo and core TC afferents in brain slices were significantly less affected by isoflurane compared to responses triggered by visual stimuli in vivo and CC/matrix TC afferents in slices. At a just-hypnotic dose in vivo, auditory responses were enhanced by isoflurane, whereas visual responses were dramatically reduced. At a comparable concentration in slices, isoflurane suppressed both core TC and CC/matrix TC responses, but the effect on the latter responses was far greater than on core TC responses, indicating that at least part of the differential effects observed in vivo were due to local actions of isoflurane in auditory cortex. These data support a model in which disruption of top-down connectivity contributes to anesthesia-induced LOC, and have implications for understanding the neural basis of consciousness.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies using electroencephalography (EEG) suggest that alteration of coherent activity between the anterior and posterior brain regions might be used as a neurophysiologic correlate of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness. One way to assess causal relationships between brain regions is given by renormalized partial directed coherence (rPDC). Importantly, directional connectivity is evaluated in the frequency domain by taking into account the whole multichannel EEG, as opposed to time domain or two channel approaches. rPDC was applied here in order to investigate propofol induced changes in causal connectivity between four states of consciousness: awake (AWA), deep sedation (SED), loss (LOC) and return of consciousness (ROC) by gathering full 10/20 system human EEG data in ten healthy male subjects. The target-controlled drug infusion was started at low rate with subsequent gradual stepwise increases at 10 min intervals in order to carefully approach LOC (defined as loss of motor responsiveness to a verbal stimulus). The direction of the causal EEG-network connections clearly changed from AWA to SED and LOC. Propofol induced a decrease (p = 0.002-0.004) in occipital-to-frontal rPDC of 8-16 Hz EEG activity and an increase (p = 0.001-0.040) in frontal-to-occipital rPDC of 10-20 Hz activity on both sides of the brain during SED and LOC. In addition, frontal-to-parietal rPDC within 1-12 Hz increased in the left hemisphere at LOC compared to AWA (p = 0.003). However, no significant changes were detected between the SED and the LOC states. The observed decrease in back-to-front EEG connectivity appears compatible with impaired information flow from the posterior sensory and association cortices to the executive prefrontal areas, possibly related to decreased ability to perceive the surrounding world during sedation. The observed increase in the opposite (front-to-back) connectivity suggests a propofol concentration dependent association and is not directly related to the level of consciousness per se.
    PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e113616. · 3.53 Impact Factor


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May 28, 2014