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Anesth Analg. 2000 Apr;90(4):863-71.

A randomized, double-blinded study of remifentanil versus fentanyl for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy surgery in pediatric ambulatory surgical patients.

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  • 1Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-2583, USA.

Abstract

We compared, in a double-blinded manner, the anesthetic maintenance and recovery properties of remifentanil with a clinically comparable fentanyl-based anesthetic technique in pediatric ambulatory surgical patients. Anesthesia was induced with either halothane or sevoflurane and nitrous oxide and oxygen. Patients were randomized (computer generated) to receive either remifentanil or fentanyl in a blinded syringe with nitrous oxide and oxygen in one of four possibilities: halothane/remifentanil, halothane/fentanyl, sevoflurane/remifentanil or sevoflurane/fentanyl. In patients receiving remifentanil, a placebo bolus was administered, and a continuous infusion (0.25 microg. kg(-1). min(-1)) was begun. In patients receiving fentanyl, a bolus (2 microg/kg) was administered followed by a placebo continuous infusion. The time from discontinuation of the anesthetic to extubation, discharge from the postanesthesia care unit (PACU), and discharge to home, as well as pain scores, were assessed by a blinded nurse observer. Systolic blood pressure and heart rate were noted at selected times, and adverse events were recorded. Remifentanil provided faster extubation times and higher pain-discomfort scores. PACU and hospital discharge times were similar. There were no statistical differences among the groups for adverse events. There were statistically, but not clinically, significant differences in hemodynamic variables. We noted that continuous infusions of remifentanil were intraoperatively as effective as bolus fentanyl. Although patients could be tracheally extubated earlier with remifentanil, this did not translate to earlier PACU or hospital discharge times. In addition, remifentanil was associated with higher postoperative pain scores. The frequent incidence of postoperative pain observed in the postoperative recovery room suggests that better intraoperative prophylactic analgesic regimens for postoperative pain control are necessary to optimize remifentanil's use as an anesthetic for children.

IMPLICATIONS:

This is a study designed to examine the efficacy and safety of a short-acting opioid, remifentanil, when used in pediatric patients. The frequent incidence of postoperative pain observed in the postoperative recovery room suggests that better intraoperative prophylactic analgesic regimens for postoperative pain control are necessary to optimize remifentanil's use as an anesthetic for children.

PMID:
10735790
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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