Purpose: Anesthesiologists have increasingly started to use EEG-based indexes to estimate the level and type of unconsciousness. However, the physiology and biophysics are poorly understood in anesthesiological literature. Methods: EEG was recorded from electrodes on the surface of head, including scalp, as well as DBS (deep brain stimulation) electrodes implanted deep in the brain. Mathematical modeling with a realistic head model was performed to create illustrative images of the sensitivity of electrode montages. Results: EEG pattern of anesthesia, burst-suppression, is recordable outside of scalp area as well in the depth of brain because the EEG current loops produce recordable voltage gradients in the whole head. The typical electrodes used in anesthesia monitoring are most sensitive to basal surface of frontal lobes as well as frontal and mesial parts of temporal lobes. Conclusions: EEG currents create closed-loops, which flow from the surface of the cortex and then return to the inside of the hemispheres. In the case of widespread synchronous activity like physiological sleep or anesthesia, the currents recorded with surface and depth electrodes return through the base of brain and skull.
ASJC Scopus subject areas