Trigeminocardiac reflex (TCR) is defined as sudden onset of parasympathetic dysrhythmia including hypotension, apnea, and gastric hypermotility during stimulation of any branches of the trigeminal nerve. Previous publications imply a relation between TCR and depth of anesthesia. To gain more detailed insights into this hypothesis, we performed a systematic literature review.Literature about occurrence of TCR was systematically identified through searching in Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE (Ovid SP), and the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI Web of Sciences) databases until June 2013, as well as reference lists of articles for risk calculation.
Our work is the first systematic review about TCR and demonstrates clear evidence for TCR occurrence and a more severe course of the TCR in slight anesthesia underlying the importance of skills in anesthesia management during skull base surgery. Furthermore, we have introduced a new standard method to calculate the depth of anesthesia.