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Int J Obstet Anesth. 2003 Apr;12(2):83-8.

Target-controlled sedation-analgesia using propofol and remifentanil in women undergoing late termination of pregnancy.

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Department of Anesthesia, Hôpital Nord, Marseille, France.


Twenty-one women undergoing termination of pregnancy for severe fetal abnormality received remifentanil and propofol using a target-controlled infusion system and were studied prospectively. Target concentrations were initially set at 1 ng.mL(-1) for remifentanil and 0.8 microg.mL(-1) for propofol. Remifentanil concentration was adjusted to obtain visual analog scores <50 mm with preservation of ventilation. Visual analog scores assessed by the patients and physiologic data were recorded every 15 min until delivery. The median duration of administration was 150 min [10th-90th centiles: 42-282 min). Visual analog scores decreased within the first 5 min (P < 0.05) and remained under 50 mm for 91.7% of time. The median rate of infusion of remifentanil was 0.056 min(-1) [10th-90th centiles: 0.037-0.15 ng.mL(-1)]. At delivery, the median target concentration was 2.2 ng.mL(-1) [10th-90th centiles: 1.25-4 ng.mL(-1)] for remifentanil and 0.8 microg.mL(-1) [10th-90th centiles: 0.32-1.12 microg.mL(-1)] for propofol. Remifentanil requirements were statistically correlated to gestational age, parity and duration of labor. No episodes of ventilatory depression, nausea, vomiting or pruritus were noted. Patients scored analgesia as excellent in 12 cases, good in 7 cases and moderate in 2 cases. Further studies are required to determine the place and the best regimen of remifentanil infusion for pain management in labor in those cases when epidural analgesia is contraindicated.

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