Comparative evaluation of different doses of propofol preceded by fentanyl on intubating conditions and pressor response during tracheal intubation without muscle relaxants

Akhilesh Gupta, Ranvinder Kaur, Rohit Malhotra, Suniti Kale
Paediatric Anaesthesia 2006, 16 (4): 399-405

BACKGROUND: The aim of our study was to determine the optimal dose of propofol preceded by fentanyl for successful tracheal intubation and to see its effectiveness in blunting pressor response in children aged 3-10 years.

METHODS: This prospective, double blind, randomized study was conducted on 60 ASA grade I and II children, between 3 and 10 years undergoing elective surgery who were divided into three groups of 20 each. The children received different doses of propofol (group I, 2.5 mg x kg(-1); group II, 3.0 mg x kg(-1); group III, 3.5 mg x kg(-1)) preceded by a fixed dose of fentanyl (3.0 microg x kg(-1)) 3 min earlier. The tracheal intubating conditions were graded based on scoring system devised by Helbo-Hensen et al. with Steyn modification which includes five criteria; ease of laryngoscopy, degree of coughing, position of vocal cords, jaw relaxation, and limb movement and graded on a 4-point scale. Heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and oxygen saturation changes were also noted.

RESULTS: Tracheal intubating conditions were acceptable in 25% of the patients in group I, while significantly higher (P < 0.001) in group II (80%) and in group III (90%). The pressor response was not effectively blunted in group I (17% increase in HR), while effectively blunted in groups II and III. A fall in cardiac output was seen in group III indicated by a decrease in MAP (16%) and HR (11%). No airway complications were noted.

CONCLUSIONS: Propofol 3 mg x kg(-1) (group II) preceded by fentanyl 3 microg x kg(-1) is the optimal dose combination in our study. It provides acceptable intubating conditions in 80% patients, blunts pressor response to intubation without significant cardiovascular depression.

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