Different small-dose remifentanil blunting the cardiovascular response to laryngoscopy and intubation in children: a randomized double-blind comparison

F S Xue, Y C Xu, Y Liu, Q Y Yang, X Liao, K P Liu, C W Li, H T Sun
European Journal of Anaesthesiology 2008, 25 (2): 106-12

BACKGROUND: The available data provide inconsistent results on the efficacy of small-dose remifentanil attenuating the cardiovascular response to intubation in children. Therefore, this randomized double-blind study was designed to assess the ability of different small doses of remifentanil on the cardiovascular intubation response in children, with the aim of determining the optimal dose of remifentanil for this purpose.

METHODS: One hundred and twenty-four children aged 3-9 yr were randomized to one of four groups to receive the following in a double-blind manner: normal saline (Group 1), remifentanil 0.75 microg kg(-1) (Group 2), remifentanil 1 microg kg(-1) (Group 3) and remifentanil 1.25 microg kg(-1) (Group 4). Non-invasive blood pressure and heart rate were recorded before anaesthesia induction (baseline value), immediately before intubation (postinduction values), at intubation and at 1 min intervals for 5 min after intubation.

RESULTS: Tracheal intubation caused significant increases in systolic blood pressure and heart rate in Groups 1-3 compared with the baseline values. The maximum percent increases of systolic blood pressure and heart rate were 10% and 26% of the baseline values, respectively, in Group 2; 5% and 14% in Group 3; and 1% and 8% in Group 4 compared with 27% and 37% in Group 1. Except for the Group 3 vs. Group 4 comparison, there were significant differences among the four groups in the maximum percent increases of systolic blood pressure and heart rate.

CONCLUSIONS: When used as part of anaesthesia induction with propofol and vecuronium in children, bolus administration of remifentanil resulted in a dose-related attenuation of the cardiovascular intubation response.

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