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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 06

Animals (Basel)



Nociception-Induced Changes in Electroencephalographic Activity and FOS Protein Expression in Piglets Undergoing Castration under Isoflurane Anaesthesia.


Reiser J, Kreuzer M, Werner J, Saller AM, Fischer J, Senf S, Deffner P, Abendschön N, Groll T, Grott A, Miller R, Bergmann S, Erhard MH, Ritzmann M, Zöls S, Schneider G, Steiger K, Baumgartner C
Animals (Basel). 2022 Sep 06; 12(18).
PMID: 36139169.


The objective of this study was to investigate the electroencephalographic reaction pattern and FOS protein expression in male piglets undergoing surgical castration under light isoflurane anaesthesia with or without local anaesthesia. The experiment was conducted under isoflurane anaesthesia to exclude the effect of the affective components of pain on the measurements. Changes in the oscillatory activity of the cerebral cortex over a 90 s period after noxious stimulation or simulated interventions were analysed. FOS expression was determined postmortem by performing immunohistochemistry in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. The analysis of the response to an interdigital pinch revealed a biphasic reaction pattern in the electroencephalogram (EEG) that similarly was observed for the surgical stimuli during the castration procedure in the group without analgesia. This EEG response was attenuated or altered by the application of local anaesthetics. Immunohistochemical staining for FOS indicated a lower expression in the handling and in three local anaesthetic groups than in the animals castrated without pain relief. The findings indicate that EEG and FOS expression may serve as indicators for nociception in piglets under light isoflurane anaesthesia. A lower activation of nociceptive pathways occurs during castration after the application of local anaesthetics. However, EEG and FOS analyses should be combined with additional parameters to assess nociception, e.g., haemodynamic monitoring.