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A patient in a permanent vegetative state required general anaesthesia for dental surgery. Because of the uncertainties involved in the appropriate monitoring and assessment of the conscious level of patients in a permanent vegetative state, it was decided to use the bispectral index to help guide the anaesthetic depth during surgery. We found that the bispectral index profile during anaesthesia and surgery was similar to that of a normal subject. The findings raise the possibility that patients in permanent vegetative states might sense noxious stimuli at a cortical level.


Journal article



Publication Date





1190 - 1194


Anesthesia, Dental, Anesthesia, Inhalation, Electroencephalography, Female, Humans, Methyl Ethers, Middle Aged, Monitoring, Intraoperative, Nitrous Oxide, Persistent Vegetative State, Tooth Extraction