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Anesthesiology. 1992 Jul;77(1):47-62.

The risk of myocardial ischemia in patients receiving desflurane versus sufentanil anesthesia for coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The S.P.I. Research Group.

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Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco.


Desflurane, a coronary vasodilator, may induce myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease. To determine whether desflurane is safe to administer to the at-risk patient population (with known coronary artery disease), we compared the incidence and characteristics of perioperative myocardial ischemia in 200 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery randomly assigned to receive desflurane (thiopental adjuvant) versus sufentanil anesthesia. Under conditions of hemodynamic control, perioperative ischemia was assessed using continuous echocardiography (precordial: during induction; transesophageal: during surgery) and Holter electrocardiography (ECG); hemodynamics (including pulmonary artery pressure) were measured continuously. Hemodynamic results: During induction, no significant changes in hemodynamics occurred in the sufentanil group, while in the desflurane group, heart rate, systemic and pulmonary arterial pressure increased and stroke volume decreased significantly. During the intraoperative period, the incidence of hemodynamic variations was low in both anesthetic groups; however, the prebypass incidence of tachycardia (greater than 120% of preoperative baseline heart rate) was greater in the desflurane group (4 +/- 7% of total time monitored) than in the sufentanil group (1 +/- 6%) (P = 0.0003). Similarly, the incidence of prebypass hypotension (less than 80% of preoperative baseline systolic arterial blood pressure) was greater in the desflurane group (21 +/- 14%) than in the sufentanil group (15 +/- 16%) (P = 0.01). ECG results: Preoperatively, 15% (28/191) of patients developed ECG ischemia, with no difference between patients who received desflurane, 13% (12/96) or sufentanil, 16% (16/95) (P = 0.6). During anesthetic induction, 9% (9/99) of patients who received desflurane developed ECG ischemia, compared with 0% (0/98) who received sufentanil (P = 0.007). During the prebypass period, 5% (10/197) of patients developed ECG ischemia, with no difference between patients who received desflurane, 7% (7/99) or sufentanil, 3% (3/98) (P = 0.3). Postbypass, 12% (24/194) of patients developed ECG ischemic changes, with no difference between patients who received desflurane, 13% (13/97) or sufentanil, 11% (11/96) (P = 0.9). Echocardiographic results: The incidence of precordial echocardiographic ischemia during anesthetic induction was 13% (5/39) in the desflurane group versus 0% (0/29) in the sufentanil group (P = 0.1). Moderate to severe transesophageal echocardiographic (TEE) ischemic episodes occurred in 12% (21/175) of patients during prebypass, with no significant difference between the desflurane group, 16% (15/91) and the sufentanil group, 7% (6/84) (P = 0.09). TEE ischemic episodes occurred in 27% (49/178) of patients during the postbypass period, with no difference between the desflurane, 29% (27/92) and sufentanil, 25% (22/86) groups (P = 0.7).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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