The patient state index (PSI) is a parameter of a four-channel electroencephalography (EEG)-derived variable used to assess the depth of anesthesia. A PSI value of 25–50 indicates adequate state of hypnosis, and a value of 100 indicates a fully awake state. Due to reduced interference from electronic devices like electrocautery, falsely high intraoperative PSI values are rarely reported. However, this case report cautions about falsely high PSI during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) with intra-aortic balloon pumping (IABP).
A 68-year-old man was scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft surgery with IABP. General anesthesia was maintained using sevoflurane. Initial PSI was between 30 and 50 before CPB. Propofol was administered during CPB, and IABP provided pulsatile flow. IABP was stopped soon after the initiation of CPB, and the ascending aorta was partially clamped to anastomose the saphenous vein graft to the ascending aorta. The PSI value decreased drastically, but with resumption of IABP, the value increased to approximately 80, despite increasing the dose of anesthetics. Meanwhile, the EEG waveform was nearly flat. After discontinuing CPB, the PSI value returned to being extremely low. There was no evidence of intraoperative awareness or instrument trouble.
After reviewing the anesthesia record, the high PSI value was almost consistent with ongoing IABP during CPB. We suspect that the oscillation noise created by IABP during CPB erroneously influences the PSI algorithm, resulting in a falsely high PSI.
Anesthesiologists should note that adherence to pEEG-derived values without discretion may cause errors when monitoring the depth of anesthesia.