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Br J Anaesth. 2004 Nov;93(5):725-36. Epub 2004 Sep 3.

Recent advances in intravenous anaesthesia.

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  • 1Peninsula Medical School, Portland Square, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK.


Efforts to develop new hypnotic compounds continue, although several have recently failed in development. Propofol has been reformulated in various presentations with and without preservatives. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic differences exist between some of these preparations, and it is currently unclear whether any have substantial advantages over the original presentation. The use of target-controlled infusion (TCI) has been extended to include paediatric anaesthesia and sedation. Application of TCI to remifentanil is now licensed. Linking of electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring to TCI for closed-loop anaesthesia remains a research tool, although commercial development may follow. The availability of stereoisomer ketamine and improved understanding of its pharmacology have increased non-anaesthetic use of ketamine as an adjunct analgesic. It may be useful in subhypnotic doses for postsurgical patients with pain refractory to morphine administration.

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