The effect of sevoflurane versus desflurane on postoperative catheter-related bladder discomfort in patients undergoing transurethral excision of a bladder tumour: a randomized controlled trial

Hyun-Chang Kim, Won-Pyo Hong, Young-Jin Lim, Hee-Pyoung Park
Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia, Journal Canadien D'anesth├ęsie 2016, 63 (5): 596-602

PURPOSE: Catheter-related bladder discomfort (CRBD) due to an indwelling urinary catheter can cause postoperative distress, and the mechanism underlying CRBD is linked to the activation of muscarinic receptors. Inhalation of anesthetic agents, such as sevoflurane and desflurane, has differential inhibitory effects on muscarinic receptors. We aimed to compare the effect of intraoperative sevoflurane vs desflurane inhalation on postoperative CRBD.

METHODS: Eighty-nine patients undergoing transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT) were randomly allocated to two groups. The sevoflurane group (n = 45) and the desflurane group (n = 44) received the respective inhalational agents for maintenance of general anesthesia. The incidence and severity (mild/moderate/severe) of CRBD were assessed at zero, one, six, and 24 hr postoperatively.

RESULTS: Catheter-related bladder discomfort during the first 24 hr postoperatively occurred in 34/45 (76%) patients receiving sevoflurane compared with 41/44 (93%) patients receiving desflurane [absolute difference 18%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2 to 33; P = 0.039]. The differences in the rate of CRBD between the sevoflurane and desflurane groups at zero, one, and six hours postoperatively were 24% (95% CI, 7 to 40; P = 0.012), 33% (95% CI, 15 to 49; P = 0.001), and 26% (95% CI, 6 to 43; P = 0.019), respectively. The incidence of moderate to severe CRBD and the number of patients treated with tramadol for CRBD were comparable between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: As a maintenance agent of general anesthesia, sevoflurane reduced the incidence of early postoperative CRBD in patients undergoing TURBT when compared with desflurane. The protocol for this clinical trial was registered at (NCT02096224).


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