Patient management algorithm combining processed electroencephalographic monitoring with cerebral and somatic near-infrared spectroscopy: a case series

  • Etienne J. Couture
  • Alain Deschamps
  • André Y. DenaultEmail author
Case Reports / Case Series



Cerebral oximetry is a monitoring tool used in the perioperative care of cardiac surgery patients to ensure adequate cerebral perfusion and oxygenation. When combined with somatic oximetry, the differential diagnosis of cerebral desaturation can be better identified and managed more specifically, as somatic oximetry serves as a global or localized perfusion monitor (depending on its regional position). The use of processed electroencephalography (pEEG) in cardiac surgery could further guide the management of desaturation episodes, as reductions in pEEG activity without a change in the anesthetic agent level indicate potential cerebral ischemia. Continuous integration of multiple monitoring modalities are thus desirable to assess organ perfusion and organ function.

Clinical features

Four clinical cases are presented in which the combination of pEEG and cerebro-somatic oximetry assisted with understanding the mechanism of cerebral desaturation encountered during cardiac surgery.


Integrating combinations of different monitoring modalities such as cerebral and somatic oximetry with pEEG can help the diagnosis and treatment of organ malperfusion and related dysfunction.

Algorithme de gestion du patient combinant le monitorage de l’électroencéphalogramme traité et la spectroscopie cérébrale et somatique dans le proche infra rouge : une série de cas



L’oxymétrie cérébrale est un outil de monitorage utilisé dans les soins périopératoires des patients de chirurgie cardiaque pour s’assurer que leur cerveau est adéquatement perfusé et oxygéné. Quand on la combine à l’oxymétrie somatique, le diagnostic différentiel de désaturation cérébrale peut être mieux identifié et géré de manière plus spécifique, car l’oxymétrie somatique permet un suivi de la perfusion globale ou localisée (selon l’emplacement du capteur). L’utilisation de l’électroencéphalographie traitée (pEEG) en chirurgie cardiaque pourrait entraîner une meilleure gestion des épisodes de désaturation dans la mesure ou une baisse de l’activité pEEG sans modification du niveau de l’agent anesthésique indique une ischémie cérébrale potentielle. L’intégration continue de multiples modalités de monitorage est donc souhaitable pour évaluer la perfusion et le fonctionnement des organes.

Caractéristiques cliniques

Quatre cas cliniques sont présentés dans lesquels la combinaison de la pEEG et de l’oxymétrie cérébro-somatique a aidé à comprendre le mécanisme de désaturation cérébrale rencontrée au cours de la chirurgie cardiaque.


Les combinaisons intégrant différentes modalités de monitorage, telles que l’oxymétrie cérébrale et somatique avec la pEEG, peuvent contribuer au diagnostic et au traitement des troubles de la perfusion des organes et des dysfonctionnements qui en découlent.



The authors would like to thank Emily Banks RRT for her advice and teaching in using SedLine, and Denis Babin MSc for the illustrations. Dr. Denault is supported by the Richard I. Kaufman Endowment Fund in Anesthesia and Critical Care and the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.

Conflicts of interest

Dr. Denault is on the Speakers Bureau for Masimo and CAE Healthcare.

Editorial responsibility

This submission was handled by Dr. Hilary P. Grocott, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Author contributions

Etienne J. Couture, Alain Deschamps, and André Y. Denault contributed substantially to all aspects of this manuscript, including study conception and design, acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data, and drafting the article. André Y. Denault contributed substantially to the acquisition of data.


Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and Richard I. Kaufman Endowment Fund in Anesthesia.


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Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Etienne J. Couture
    • 1
  • Alain Deschamps
    • 2
  • André Y. Denault
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Critical Care, Department of MedicineUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiaMontreal Heart Institute, Université de MontréalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesia and Division of Critical CareMontreal Heart Institute, Université de MontréalMontrealCanada

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