Effects of remifentanil and remifentanil-alfentanil administration on emergence agitation after brief ophthalmic surgery in children
BACKGROUND Sevoflurane is commonly usedin pediatric anesthesia due to its non-irritating airway properties, and rapid induction and emergence. However, it is associated with emergence agitation (EA) in children. EA may cause injury to the child or damage to the surgical site and is a cause of stress to both caregivers and families. The efficacy of remifentanil and additional alfentanil on EA in the pediatric patients underwent ophthalmic surgery with sevofluraneanesthesiawas not well evaluated to date. This study was designed to compare the effects of remifentanil and remifentanil plus alfentanil on EA in children undergoing ophthalmic surgery with sevofluraneanesthesia. METHODS Children (aged 3-9 years) undergoing ophthalmic surgery undersevoflurane anesthesia were randomly assigned to group S (sevoflurane alone), group R (sevofluraneandremifentanil infusion, 0.1 μg/kg/min), or group RA (sevoflurane withremifentanil infusion and intravenous injection of alfentanil 5 μg/kg 10 min before the end of surgery). Mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and sevoflurane concentration were checked every 15 min after induction of anesthesia. The incidence of EA, time to extubation from discontinuation of sevoflurane inhalation, and time to discharge from the postanesthesia care unit was assessed. RESULTS The incidence of EA was significantly lower in groups R (32 %, 11/34; P = 0.01) and RA (31 %, 11/35; P = 0.008) than group S (64 %, 21/33). The time to extubation was prolonged in group RA (11.2 ± 2.3 min; P = 0.004 and P = 0.016) compared with groups S (9.2 ± 2.3 min) andR (9.5 ± 2.4 min). MAP and HR were similar in all three groups, apart from a reduction in HR at 45 min in groups R and RA. However, the sevoflurane concentration was lower in groups R and RA than group S (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS The administration of remifentanil to children undergoing ophthalmic surgery undersevoflurane anesthesia reduced the incidence of EA without clinically significant hemodynamic changes. However, the addition of alfentanil(5 μg/kg)10 min before the end of surgery provided no additional benefit compared withremifentanil alone. TRIAL REGISTRATION CLINICAL TRIAL NUMBER NCT02486926 , June.29.2015.