Time-varying spectral analysis revealing differential effects of sevoflurane anaesthesia: non-rhythmic-to-rhythmic ratio.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Heart rate variability (HRV) may reflect various physiological dynamics. In particular, variation of R-R peak interval (RRI) of electrocardiography appears regularly oscillatory in deeper levels of anaesthesia and less regular in lighter levels of anaesthesia. We proposed a new index, non-rhythmic-to-rhythmic ratio (NRR), to quantify this feature and investigated its potential to estimate depth of anaesthesia.


Thirty-one female patients were enrolled in this prospective study. The oscillatory pattern transition of RRI was visualised by the time-varying power spectrum and quantified by NRR. The prediction of anaesthetic events, including skin incision, first reaction of motor movement during emergence period, loss of consciousness (LOC) and return of consciousness (ROC) by NRR were evaluated by serial prediction probability (PK ) analysis; the ability to predict the decrease of effect-site sevoflurane concentration was also evaluated. The results were compared with Bispectral Index (BIS).


NRR well-predicted first reaction (PK  > 0.90) 30 s ahead, earlier than BIS and significantly better than HRV indices. NRR well-correlated with sevoflurane concentration, although its correlation was inferior to BIS, while HRV indices had no such correlation. BIS indicated LOC and ROC best.


Our findings suggest that NRR provides complementary information to BIS regarding the differential effects of anaesthetics on the brain, especially the subcortical motor activity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lin, Y-T; Wu, H-T; Tsao, J; Yien, H-W; Hseu, S-S

Published Date

  • February 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 58 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 157 - 167

PubMed ID

  • 24410106

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1399-6576

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-5172

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/aas.12251


  • eng