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This article is the author's final published version in Scientific Reports, Volume 13, Issue 1, 2023, Article number 21014.

The published version is available at Copyright © The Author(s) 2023.


General anesthesia (GA) during surgery is commonly maintained by inhalational sevoflurane. Previous resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) studies have demonstrated suppressed functional connectivity (FC) of the entire brain networks, especially the default mode networks, transitioning from the awake to GA condition. However, accuracy and reliability were limited by previous administration methods (e.g. face mask) and short rs-fMRI scans. Therefore, in this study, a clinical scenario of epilepsy patients undergoing laser interstitial thermal therapy was leveraged to acquire 15 min of rs-fMRI while under general endotracheal anesthesia to maximize the accuracy of sevoflurane level. Nine recruited patients had fMRI acquired during awake and under GA, of which seven were included in both static and dynamic FC analyses. Group independent component analysis and a sliding-window method followed by k-means clustering were applied to identify four dynamic brain states, which characterized subtypes of FC patterns. Our results showed that a low-FC brain state was characteristic of the GA condition as a single featuring state during the entire rs-fMRI session; In contrast, the awake condition exhibited frequent fluctuations between three distinct brain states, one of which was a highly synchronized brain state not seen in GA. In conclusion, our study revealed remarkable dynamic connectivity changes from awake to GA condition and demonstrated the advantages of dynamic FC analysis for future studies in the assessments of the effects of GA on brain functional activities.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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