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Indian J Anaesth. 2017 Apr;61(4):315-320. doi: 10.4103/ija.IJA_513_16.

Desflurane for ambulatory anaesthesia: A comparison with sevoflurane for recovery profile and airway responses.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.



Desflurane and sevoflurane have low blood gas solubility co-efficients, allowing a rapid awakening from anaesthesia. However, desfluraneis pungent and may cause airway irritability. We compared desflurane and sevoflurane with respect to recovery and occurrence of adverse airway responses in spontaneously breathing patients while using the ProSeal™ laryngeal mask airway (LMA).


Ninety-four adult patients undergoing hysteroscopic procedures were divided into sevoflurane (S) group or desflurane (D) group. Patients were premedicated with midazolam 0.03 mg/kg and fentanyl 1μg/kg. Anaesthesia was induced with propofol 2.0-2.5 mg/kg, followed by insertion of a ProSeal™ LMA. Adverse airway responses such as cough, hiccups, laryngospasm and breathholding were recorded. In the post-operative period: time to awakening, response to verbal commands, orientation, ability to sit with support and the recovery room Aldrete score were recorded.


Three patients in group S (6.4%) and six patients (13.3%) in Group D had adverse airway events. The mean time to eye opening (Group S-10.75 ± 7.54 min, Group D-4.94 ± 1.74 min), obeying verbal commands (Group S-13.13 ± 8.75 min, Group D-6.55 ± 1.75 min), orientation (Group S-15.42 ± 8.46 min, Group D-6.23 ± 2.4 min) and to sit with support (Group S-36.09 ± 12.68 min, Group D-14.35 ± 3.75 min) were found to be lesser with desflurane than with sevoflurane (P < 0.001). The mean time to recovery was delayed in Group S-46.00 ± 12.86 min compared to Group D-26.44 ± 5.33 min (P < 0.001).


Desflurane has faster awakening properties than sevoflurane without an increase in adverse airway events when used during spontaneous ventilation through a ProSeal™ LMA along with propofol and fentanyl.


Airway responses; ambulatory anaesthesia; desflurane; emergence; sevoflurane

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