Xiaolin Liu1, Barney D. Ward1, Shi-Jiang Li1, Anthony G. Hudetz2
1Department of Biophysics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States; 2Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States
In this study, we examined whether the loss of consciousness in deep propofol sedation is more related to a direct action of the propofol on corticocortical functional connections or a disruption of thalamocortical interactions, of particular interest, the nonspecific thalamic network. We found that although the nonspecific functional connectivity was significantly diminished as the level of consciousness was reduced, functional connectivity between the cortical network nodes were not statistically altered during deep sedation and the subsequent recovery. These preliminary findings suggest that propofol-induced reduction in the level of consciousness is reflected by changes of the nonspecific thalamocortical connectivity rather than by changes of the corticocortical connections.