Automated titration of propofol and remifentanil decreases the anesthesiologist's workload during vascular or thoracic surgery: a randomized prospective study

Corinne Dussaussoy, Marine Peres, Virginie Jaoul, Ngai Liu, Thierry Chazot, Jean Picquet, Marc Fischler, Laurent Beydon
Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing 2014, 28 (1): 35-40
Closed loop target-control infusion systems using a Bispectral (BIS) signal as an input (TCI Loop) can automatically maintain intravenous anesthesia in a BIS range of 40-60 %. Our purpose was to assess to what extent such a system could decrease anesthesia workload in comparison to the use of a stand alone TCI system manually adjusted to fit the same BIS range of 40-60 % (TCI Manual). Patients scheduled for elective vascular or thoracic surgery were randomized to the TCI Loop or TCI Manual method for administering propofol and remifentanil during both induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. Assessment of workload was performed by an independent observer who quoted each time the physician looked at the BIS monitor. The number of propofol and remifentanil target modifications, the percentage of time of adequate anesthesia i.e. BIS in the range 40-60 and hemodynamic data were recorded. Eighteen patients per group were enrolled. Characteristics, duration of surgery and propofol-remifentanil consumption were similar between groups. However, the percentage of time in the BIS range 40-60 % was higher in the TCI Loop versus TCI Manual groups (94 % ± 12 vs. 74 % ± 19, p < 0.001). Mean arterial pressure was lower with TCI Manual (78 ± 6 vs. 88 ± 13 mmHg, p < 0.001). The number of times the anesthesiologist watched the controller or BIS monitor (p < 0.05) and the number of manual adjustments (p < 0.001) performed in each group was lower with TCI Loop group during induction and maintenance of anesthesia. An automated controller strikingly frees the anesthesiologist from manual intervention to adjust drug delivery.

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