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Br J Anaesth. 2011 Jun;106(6):851-5. doi: 10.1093/bja/aer097. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Remifentanil for fetal immobilization and analgesia during the ex utero intrapartum treatment procedure under combined spinal-epidural anaesthesia.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3094, Durham, NC, USA.


Remifentanil undergoes extensive placental transfer and has been used to provide fetal immobilization and anaesthesia for in utero fetal endoscopic interventions. We report three cases of the ex utero intrapartum treatment performed under neuraxial anaesthesia where the maternal administration of remifentanil was used to provide fetal immobilization and analgesia. Fetal pathology included goiter and arthrogryposis, with one case requiring a tracheostomy. The longest time on placental circulation was 21 min. No clinically significant maternal sedation or respiratory depression was observed. In all cases, remifentanil provided adequate fetal immobilization and obviated the need to administer other analgesics or neuromuscular blocking agents. Remifentanil is a useful adjunct for ex utero fetal procedures.

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