Emergence-delirium is the most frequent brain dysfunction in children recovering from general anaesthesia, though the pathophysiological background remains unclear. The presented study analysed an association between emergence delirium and intraoperative burst suppression activity in the electroencephalogram, a period of very deep hypnosis during general anaesthesia.
In this prospective, observational cohort study at the Charité - university hospital in Berlin / Germany children aged 0.5 to 8 years old, undergoing planned surgery, were included between September 2015 and February 2017. Intraoperative bi-frontal electroencephalogram monitoring were recorded. Occurrence and duration of burst suppression periods were visually analysed. Emergence delirium was assessed with the Pediatric Assessment of Emergence Delirium Score.
From 97 children being analysed within this study, 40 children developed emergence delirium, and 57 children did not. Overall 52% of the children displayed intraoperative burst suppression periods; however, occurrence and duration of burst suppression (Emergence delirium group 55% / 261+462sec vs. Non-emergence delirium group 49% / 318+531sec) did not differ in between both groups.
Our data reveal no correlation between the occurrence and duration of intraoperative burst suppression activity and the incidence of emergence delirium. Burst suppression occurrence is frequent; however, it does not seem to have an unfavourable impact on cerebral function at emergence from general anaesthesia in children.