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Paediatr Anaesth. 1998;8(1):49-54.

Recovery characteristics of propofol anaesthesia, with and without nitrous oxide: a comparison with halothane/nitrous oxide anaesthesia in children.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Few studies have examined whether nitrous oxide influences the recovery characteristics of propofol anaesthesia. The present study examined the effect of nitrous oxide on the recovery characteristics of propofol anaesthesia, and compared these data with those for halothane/nitrous oxide anaesthesia. Sixty children aged 3-12 years were assigned at random to receive one of three maintenance regimens: propofol with or without nitrous oxide (70%) or halothane/nitrous oxide (70%). During propofol/N2O anaesthesia, the infusion rate of propofol (180 +/- 39 required to maintain the mean arterial pressure and heart rate within 20% of the baseline values was significantly less than that during propofol/O2 (220 +/- 37; P < 0.005). The time from discontinuation of anaesthesia to eye-opening (11 +/- 6 min), to response to commands (12 +/- 6 min), and to return of full wakefulness (21 +/- 10 min) after propofol/N2O were similar to those after propofol/O2, but significantly less (by approximately 30%) than those after halothane (P < 0.05). The overall incidence of emesis after propofol/N2O (53%) was greater than that after propofol/O2 (17%, P < 0.05) and comparable to that after halothane/N2O (58%). These data suggest that N2O has little effect on the rate of recovery after propofol, but significantly increases the incidence of postoperative emesis, thereby attenuating one of the main attributes of propofol anaesthesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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