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Paediatr Anaesth. 2004 Jul;14(7):589-95.

Pentobarbital vs chloral hydrate for sedation of children undergoing MRI: efficacy and recovery characteristics.

Author information

  • 1F3900 C.S.Mott Children's Hospital, University of Michigan, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0211, USA. smalviya@umich.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chloral hydrate (CH) sedation for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is associated with significant failure rates, adverse events and delayed recovery. Pentobarbital (PB), reportedly produces successful sedation in 98% of children undergoing diagnostic imaging. This study compared the efficacy, adverse events and recovery characteristics of CH vs PB in children undergoing MRI.

METHODS:

With Institutional Review Board approval and written consent, children were randomly assigned to receive intravenous (i.v.) PB (maximum 5 mg x kg(-1) in incremental doses) or oral CH (75 mg x kg(-1)) prior to MRI. Sedation was augmented with 0.05 mg x kg(-1) doses of i.v. midazolam (maximum 0.1 mg x kg(-1)) as necessary. Adverse effects, including hypoxaemia, failed sedation, paradoxical reactions and behavioural changes, the return of baseline activity, and parental satisfaction were documented. The quality of MRI scans was evaluated by a radiologist blinded to the sedation technique.

RESULTS:

PB facilitated an earlier onset of sedation (P = 0.001), higher sedation scores (P = 0.01), and less need for supplemental midazolam compared with CH. Severe hypoxaemia occurred in two children (6%) in the PB group. Fourteen per cent of the PB group experienced a paradoxical reaction, 9% sedation failure and 11% major motion artefact, compared with 0% (P = 0.05), 3 and 2% (P = NS), respectively, in the CH group. CH and PB were both associated with a high incidence of motor imbalance, and agitation. However, children who received PB had a slower return to baseline activity (P = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

Although PB facilitated a quicker sedation onset and reduced the requirement for supplemental sedation, it produced a higher incidence of paradoxical reaction and prolonged recovery with a similar failure rate compared with CH.

Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

PMID:
15200658
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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