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Anesth Analg. 2000 Sep;91(3):563-6.

Emergence agitation after sevoflurane versus propofol in pediatric patients.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Teikyo University and Ichihara Hospital, Chiba, Japan.


Sevoflurane may be associated with a high incidence of emergence agitation in preschool children. We tested the hypothesis that maintenance of anesthesia with propofol after sevoflurane induction would reduce the incidence of this excitatory behavior compared with continuing sevoflurane for maintenance. We conducted a randomized, single-blinded, two-period, cross-over study in 16 preschool age children undergoing repeated brief general anesthetics for eye examination. After sevoflurane induction, patients were randomly assigned to receive either sevoflurane or propofol anesthesia for maintenance. The alternative anesthetic was used for the maintenance of anesthesia on the second occasion. We compared the speed and quality of recovery characteristics of these anesthetics, as well as, overall parent satisfaction with anesthesia. Eight patients first received sevoflurane and the remaining eight patients first received propofol. Of the patients who received sevoflurane for the maintenance of anesthesia, 38% developed emergence agitation. In contrast, none developed emergence agitation when propofol was administered for maintenance of anesthesia. Despite emergence agitation, sevoflurane provided a shorter postanesthesia care unit stay than propofol. Parent satisfaction with anesthesia was greater with propofol than with sevoflurane.


In this cross-over study, we observed the incidence of emergence agitation with sevoflurane (38%) was significantly greater than with propofol (0%) in premedicated, preschool-aged children undergoing minor noninvasive surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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