Comparison of hemodynamics, recovery profile, and early postoperative pain control and costs of remifentanil versus alfentanil-based total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA)

Zerrin Ozkose, Oya Yalcin Cok, Bilge Tuncer, Senem Tufekcioglu, Sahin Yardim
Journal of Clinical Anesthesia 2002, 14 (3): 161-8

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To compare hemodynamics, recovery profiles, early postoperative pain control and costs of total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) with propofol and remifentanil and propofol and alfentanil.

DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind study.

SETTING: University hospital.

PATIENTS: 40 ASA physical status I and II adult patients scheduled for lumbar discectomy.

INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either remifentanil-propofol or alfentanil-propofol. Anesthesia was induced with remifentanil 1 microg kg(-1) or alfentanil 20 microg kg(-1) with propofol 2 mg kg(-1), and maintained with infusions of propofol 150 to 100 microg kg(-1)min(-1) and either remifentanil 0.1 microg kg(-1) min(-1) or alfentanil 0.5 microg kg(-1) min(-1).

MEASUREMENTS: Hemodynamic parameters (heart rate and mean arterial pressure), times to awakening, and tracheal extubation were recorded. In the postanesthesia care unit, pain level, frequency of analgesic demand, frequency of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), partial oxygen saturation (SpO2), and respiratory rates were noted. Drug dosages and costs of each technique were determined.

MAIN RESULTS: The mean arterial pressure significantly decreased compared to baseline values 1 minute after induction (p < 0.05) in both groups, and it significantly decreased at 5, 15, and 30 minutes perioperatively in the remifentanil group compared to the alfentanil group (p < 0.05). Time of extubation, spontaneous eye opening, and response to verbal command were similar in both groups. Visual analog scale pain scores at 30 minutes and 60 minutes were significantly lower in the alfentanil group than remifentanil group (p < 0.05). At 15, 30, and 60 minutes after terminating the operation oxygen saturation and respiratory rate were significantly higher (p < 0.05) and analgesics were required sooner in the remifentanil group than the alfentanil group (p < 0.05). The frequency of PONV was similar in both groups. The remifentanil-propofol anesthesia was found to be slightly more expensive as compared to the alfentanil based TIVA (33.41 +/- 4.53 vs. 29.97 +/- 4.1 USD) (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Both remifentanil and alfentanil provided a reasonably rapid and reliable recovery. The remifentanil-based TIVA was associated with high intraoperative cost and early postoperative pain, but it allowed a more rapid respiratory recovery.

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