Propofol and sevoflurane during epidural/general anesthesia: comparison of early recovery characteristics and pain relief

Hasan Hepağuşlar, Deniz Ozzeybek, Sevda Ozkardeşler, Aydin Taşdöğen, Seden Duru, Zahide Elar
Middle East Journal of Anesthesiology 2004, 17 (5): 819-32
We investigated the early recovery characteristics and pain relief of adult patients during combined anesthesia with (epidural and general), either with propofol or sevoflurane for maintenance in major abdominal surgery. Twenty-two patients (ASA I-III) were enrolled in this randomized, prospective study. After fluid preloading, 10 ml of bupivacaine 0.5% + 5 ml of prilocaine 0.5% + 1 ml of fentanyl 50 microg mL(-1) were administered via an epidural catheter. General anesthesia was induced with fentanyl and propofol after T6 sensorial blockade. Propofol group (n = 11) received propofol (2-5 mg kg(-1) h(-1)), sevoflurane group (n = 11) received sevoflurane (1-2%) for maintenance. Anesthesia was supplemented with N2O in O2 and intravenous fentanyl. Continuous epidural infusion of 0.125% bupivacaine + 1 microg fentanyl (5-7 mL h(-1)) was started forty-five min after the epidural bolus dose and 5 ml of it was given at the start of the wound closure. All anesthetics were discontinued except epidural infusion during the last suture. After emergence time was determined, the patients were transferred to the PACU. They were observed for orientation times of person and place. The pain scores (verbal analogue scale, 0-10) were assessed with 30 min intervals. When the patient's pain score was >3, rescue analgesic protocol (diclofenac Na 75 mg im followed by meperidine HCI approximately 0.25 mg kg(-1) iv at the latter period) was applied. In the case of inadequate pain relief during the latter assessment periods, meperidine HCI approximately 0.25 mg kg(-1) was administered. Mann-Whitney U test and Fisher's exact test were used for the statistical analysis. A value of p<0.05 was considered significant. Between the groups no statistical differences were observed in the emergence time (5 vs. 6 min, median) and in the orientation time to person (6 vs. 10 min). Recovery of orientation to place was found faster in propofol group (7 vs. 12 min, p = 0.041). Pain scores of the patients between the groups were not statistically different at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120 min postoperatively (3, 2, 3, 2, 2, and 2, 4, 4, 3, 3, respectively). Rescue analgesic protocol and additional meperidine HCI were applied to 63.6% and 45.4% of patients in the propofol group, 54.5% and 36.3% of patients in the sevoflurane group, respectively. There weren't any statistical differences in regard to these, either. Except orientation time to place, the times of emergence and orientation to person, the pain scores and the analgesic requirements of the patients in both groups were similar. Propofol or sevoflurane did not offer any advantages for postoperative pain relief on behalf of either one when combined with epidural anesthesia.

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