The aepEXplus monitoring system, which uses mid-latency auditory evoked potentials to measure depth of hypnosis, was evaluated in pediatric patients receiving desflurane-remifentanil anesthesia.
Seventy-five patients, 1–18 years of age (stratified for age; 1–3, 3–6, 6–18 years, for subgroup analyses), were included in this prospective observational study. The aepEX and the bispectral index (BIS) were recorded simultaneously, the latter serving as a reference. The ability of the aepEX to detect different levels of consciousness, defined according to the University of Michigan Sedation Scale, investigated using prediction probability (Pk
), and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, served as the primary outcome parameter. As a secondary outcome parameter, the relationship between end-tidal desflurane and the aepEX and BIS values were calculated by fitting in a nonlinear regression model.
values for the aepEX and the BIS were, respectively, .68 (95% CI, 0.53–0.82) and .85 (95% CI, 0.73–0.96; P
= .02). The aepEX and the BIS had an area under the ROC curve of, respectively, 0.89 (95% CI, 0.80–0.95) and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.68–0.84; P
= .04). The maximized sensitivity and specificity were, respectively, 81% (95% CI, 61%–93%) and 86% (95% CI, 74%–94%) for the aepEX at a cutoff value of >52, and 69% (95% CI, 56%–81%) and 70% (95% CI, 57%–81%) for the BIS at a cutoff value of >65. The age-corrected end-tidal desflurane concentration associated with an index value of 50 (EC50
) was 0.59 minimum alveolar concentration (interquartile range: 0.38–0.85) and 0.58 minimum alveolar concentration (interquartile range: 0.41–0.70) for, respectively, the aepEX and BIS (P
= .69). Age-group analysis showed no evidence of a difference regarding the area under the ROC curve or EC50
The aepEX can reliably differentiate between a conscious and an unconscious state in pediatric patients receiving desflurane-remifentanil anesthesia.