alexa Remifentanil, fentanyl, and cardiac surgery: a double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial of costs and outcomes


Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research

Author(s): Myles PS, Hunt JO, Fletcher H, Watts J, Bain D

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Remifentanil may be beneficial in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery, by promoting hemodynamic stability, reducing drug requirements, and attenuating the neurohumoral "stress response." We enrolled 77 cardiac surgical patients in a double-blinded, randomized trial and randomly allocated them to one of three groups: remifentanil infusion at 0.83 micro g. kg(-1). min(-1) (Group R); fentanyl bolus, small dose, at 12 micro g/kg (Group FLD); and fentanyl bolus, moderate dose, at 24 micro g/kg (Group FMD). We found a significant difference in the median time to tracheal extubation: Group FLD, 6.5 h; Group R, 7.3 h; and Group FMD, 9.7 h (P = 0.025). Group R patients had similar times to those of Groups FLD (P = 0.14) and FMD (P = 0.30). Group FLD patients had a longer length of hospital stay (P = 0.030). Patients in Group R had a significantly infrequent rate of hypertension but a frequent rate of hypotension (P < 0.01). The urinary cortisol excretion was larger in Group FLD patients (P < 0.0005), and urine flow was smaller (P < 0.0005). Remifentanil was associated with a propofol dose reduction (P = 0.0005) and a concomitant higher bispectral index (P = 0.032). Three Group FLD patients, but none in groups FMD and R, had postoperative myocardial infarctions (P = 0.032). Remifentanil has larger drug acquisition costs but does not increase the total hospital costs associated with cardiac surgery.

This article was published in Anesth Analg and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research

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