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Anaesth Intensive Care. 2004 Apr;32(2):250-5.

Comparison of propofol consumption and recovery time in Caucasians from Italy, with Chinese, Malays and Indians from Malaysia.

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  • 1University of Florence, Dipartimento di Area Critica Medico Chirurgica, Sezione di Anestesia e Rianimazione, Unita 'Anestesia e Rianimazione Sperimentali, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, Italy.


Differences in sensitivity to anaesthetic drugs may exist among different ethnic groups. Allelic variants for drug metabolizing isoenzymes and pharmacokinetic differences may account for a variable response to some anaesthetic drugs. This study was designed to compare propofol consumption and recovery characteristics in four ethnic groups: Chinese, Malays, and Indians in Malaysia and Caucasians in Italy. Patients undergoing total intravenous anaesthesia with propofol and fentanyl were evaluated for propofol consumption and recovery time. The Bispectral Index (BIS) was used to maintain the same anaesthesia depth in all patients. The BIS value, the response to verbal stimuli and eye-opening time were used to assess recovery. After propofol discontinuation the BIS values returned to baseline in 11+/-4.2 min for Caucasians, in 12.5+/-5.1 min for Chinese, 15.9+/-6.3 min for Malays and 22.1+/-8.1 for Indians. Time to eye-opening was 11.63+/-4.2 min in Caucasians, 13.23+/-4.9 min in Chinese, 16.97+/-5.2 min in Malays and 22.3+/-6.6 min in Indians. The propofol consumption was significantly lower in Indians compared to the other three groups (P<0.01). The recovery of Indians was much slower compared to Chinese, Malays and Caucasians. The recovery time of Malays is significantly slower compared to Chinese and Caucasians. Differences in propofol consumption and recovery time were not significant between Chinese and Caucasians, but the ratio recovery time/propofol consumption was significantly lower in Caucasians compared to all the other groups.

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