Background: Halothane and propofol depress the central nervous system, and this is partly manifested by a decrease in electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. Little work has been performed to determine the differences between these anesthetics with regard to their effects on evoked EEG activity. We examined the effects of halothane and propofol on EEG responses to electrical stimulation of the reticular formation. Methods: Rats (n = 12) were anesthetized with either halothane or propofol, and EEG responses were recorded before and after electrical stimulation of the reticular formation. Two anesthetic concentrations were used (0.8 and 1.2 times the amount needed to prevent gross, purposeful movement in response to supramaximal noxious stimulation), and both anesthetics were studied in each rat using a cross-over design. Results: Electrical stimulation in the reticular formation increased the spectral edge (SEF) and median edge (MEF) frequencies by approximately 1-2 Hz during halothane anesthesia at low and high concentrations. During propofol anesthesia, MEF increased at the low propofol infusion rate, but SEF was unaffected. At the high propofol infusion rate, SEF and MEF decreased following electrical stimulation in the reticular formation. Conclusions: At immobilizing concentrations, propofol produces a larger decrease than halothane in EEG responses to reticular formation stimulation, consistent with propofol having a more profound depressant effect on cortical and subcortical structures.
- Reticular formation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine