The Effect of Low-Dose Remifentanil on the Hemodynamic Responses of Endotracheal Extubation
Emergence from general anesthesia can be associated with coughing, agitation, and hemodynamic disturbances. Remifentanil may attenuate these responses. We have examined the effect of remifentanil on the hemodynamic response to the emergence from anesthesia and tracheal extubation. In a double-blind, randomized trial, we enrolled 50 adult patients undergoing abdominal surgery. All patients received a standard general anesthetic comprising propofol, atracurium and 1% isoflurane with 50% nitrous oxide in oxygen. At the end of surgery, a bolus dose of remifentanil 0.2 microgram/kg (n = 25) or saline placebo (n = 25) was given and tracheal extubation was performed when standard criteria were achieved. Arterial pressure and heart rate were measured non-invasively, immediately after tracheal extubation and then at 1-min intervals. Remifentanil attenuated the increase in both systolic and diastolic arterial pressure and heart rate after extubation compared to the control group. No differences in SpO2, cough and laryngospasm were observed between two groups. Use of a low-dose remifentanil has clinically acceptable effect in blunting the cardiovascular changes induced by tracheal extubation.
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