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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2000 Jan;44(1):118-24.

Efficacy and safety of premedication with oral ketamine for day-case adenoidectomy compared with rectal diazepam/diclofenac and EMLA.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, Tampere University Hospital and Medical School, Finland.



Because of its pain-attenuating and sedative properties oral ketamine has been used as premedication in children and adults. We wanted to compare in children scheduled for adenoidectomy safety and efficacy of oral ketamine with a premedication that causes similar preoperative sedation and relief of pain at the venepuncture site. We also evaluated the effect of i.v. glycopyrrolate added to these combinations.


One hundred children between 10 and 15 kg of body weight scheduled for day-case adenoidectomy were randomly assigned to one of four groups: groups DG and DS received diclofenac 12.5 mg and diazepam 0.5 mg/kg rectally, EMLA cream at the venepuncture site, and placebo orally; groups KG and KS received ketamine 6.0 mg/kg orally, placebo cream at the puncture site, and placebo rectally; additionally, groups DG and KG received glycopyrrolate 5 microg/kg, and groups DS and KS received placebo intravenously. We recorded perioperatively scores (open scale 1-9) for stridor, sedation, bleeding, nausea, pain, heart rate, the need for analgesics and registered psychotomimesis and well-being at home.


The children of the K-groups became more tearful during separation from their parents (P=0.0072). No other differences were found between the ketamine and diazepam/diclofenac groups before and after premedication until induction of anaesthesia. Oral ketamine produced unpleasant psychotomimesis in four out of 59 children. During the first 10 min postoperatively, the score for stridor was significantly higher in group KS than in the D-groups; stridor scores > or = 6 were seen in one child of the D-groups (DS) and in six children of the K-groups (n.s.), of whom three developed laryngospasm (one reintubation). Glycopyrrolate diminished salivation in all groups, but had no effect on stridor scores. Additionally, glycopyrrolate delayed the onset of eating at home.


Premedication with racemic oral ketamine 6 mg/kg does not seem to be suitable for upper airway procedures. Addition of i.v. glycopyrrolate before the induction of anaesthesia significantly reduced the scores for salivation.

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