Electroencephalographic abnormalities following halothane anesthesia

K. J. Bruchiel, J. J. Stockard, R. K. Calverley, N. T. Smith, M. L. Scholl, R. I. Mazze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In 7 subjects, serial EEGs, serum bromide determinations, and psychological tests were done prior to and following 13.83 ± 0.74 (SEM) MAC-hours of halothane anesthesia. Significant psychological impairment demonstrated 2 days following anesthesia in these subjects was absent 2 weeks following exposure to halothane. Nonspecific postanesthetic slowing of the EEG was found, qualitatively similar to but more marked than that following exposure to enflurane. Generalized EEG slowing, with a tendency toward posterior delta activity and significant reduction of frequency and amplitude of the alpha rhythm, persisted for 6 to 8 days following anesthesia. Rare sharp-wave activity developed in 3 subjects in the 1st week after halothane. A potentially psychoactive postanesthetic serum bromide level of 2.97 ± 0.17 mEq/L (SEM) was found 5 days following anesthesia. Electroencephalographic changes characteristic of mild bromide intoxication were absent, suggesting that the psychological impairment noted after halothane anesthesia is probably not due to this metabolite; these psychological changes are probably due instead to persistence in the circulation of unchanged halothane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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