[en] The relationship between the Bispectral Index (BIS), an EEG-based monitor of anesthesia, and brain activity is still unclear. This study aimed at investigating the relationship between changes in BIS values during natural sleep and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) variations, as measured by Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Data were obtained from six young, healthy, right-handed, male volunteers (20-30 years old) using the H2(15)O infusion method. PET scans were performed both during waking and various stages of sleep. BIS values were monitored continuously and recorded during each PET scan. Positive correlations were detected between BIS and rCBF values in dorsolateral prefontal, parietal, anterior and posterior cingulate, precuneal, mesiofrontal, mesiotemporal and insular cortices. These areas belong to a frontoparietal network known to be related to awareness of self conscious sensory perception, attention and memory. BIS values also positively correlated with activity in brainstem and thalami, both structures known to be involved in arousal and wakefulness. These results show that BIS changes associated with physiological sleep depth co-vary with the activity of specific cortical and subcortical areas. The latter are known to modulate arousal, which in turn allows sustained thalamo-cortical enhancement of activity in a specific frontoparietal network known to be related to the content of consciousness. Thus, although mainly derived from frontal EEG, BIS could represent a wider index of cerebral activity.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS