Background General anaesthesia induces highly structured oscillations in the electroencephalogram (EEG) in adults, but the anaesthesia-induced EEG in paediatric patients is less understood. Neural circuits undergo structural and functional transformations during development that might be reflected in anaesthesia-induced EEG oscillations. We therefore investigated age-related changes in the EEG during sevoflurane general anaesthesia in paediatric patients.

Methods We analysed the EEG recorded during routine care of patients between 0 and 28 yr of age (n=54), using power spectral and coherence methods. The power spectrum quantifies the energy in the EEG at each frequency, while the coherence measures the frequency-dependent correlation or synchronization between EEG signals at different scalp locations. We characterized the EEG as a function of age and within 5 age groups: 6–14 yr old (n=14), >14–21 yr old (n=11), >21–28 yr old (n=13).

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