Isoflurane effects on the N1 and other long-latency auditory evoked potentials in Wistar rats


Long-latency auditory evoked potentials (LLAEPs) may help further advances in understanding consciousness under general anesthesia and promote more objective means of assessing sedation depth than conventional clinical signs. Among the LLAEP components, the auditory N1 shows promise as a measure of sedation depth and a marker of consciousness, but findings are so far inconclusive. Research with animals can help elucidate the effects of various anesthetics on the N1 and other LLAEPs, but investigations of LLAEPs under anesthesia in animals is lacking. To address this deficit, we examined the P1, N1, P2, and N2, along with their corresponding peak-to-peak complexes, in 10 Wistar rats anesthetized with 1.5–2 % isoflurane in pure oxygen and again after recovery. While under anesthesia, subdermal needle electrodes were inserted and secured for electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings. LLAEPs were assessed during a 20-min, passive, two-tone (500 ms inter-tone interval) paradigm with randomized short (1 s) and long (5 s) inter-pair intervals (IPIs). Overall, while the LLAEP peaks under isoflurane were less defined, they were not eliminated. The peak-to-peak amplitudes, particularly the P1-N1, were significantly smaller under isoflurane than during post-recovery. Our preliminary findings indicate that isoflurane produces global suppression across LLAEP components, presumably reflecting impaired integration of top-down and bottom-up attention and sensory systems under profound sedation with isoflurane.

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Neuroscience Research