Author(s): Rai MR, Parry TM, Dombrovskis A, Warner OJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Awake fibreoptic intubation (AFOI) is a technique used in patients with difficult airways. This study compares the suitability of remifentanil target-controlled infusion (TCI) to propofol TCI for conscious sedation during AFOI in patients with bona fide difficult airways. METHODS: We recruited 24, ASA I-III patients, who were undergoing sedation for elective AFOI. Patients were randomized to one of the two groups, Group P (n=10) received propofol TCI and Group R (n=14) received remifentanil TCI. Primary outcome measures were conditions achieved at endoscopy, intubation, and post-intubation, which were graded using scoring systems. Other parameters measured were the endoscopy time, intubation time, and number of attempts at intubation. A postoperative interview was conducted to determine recall of events and level of patient satisfaction. RESULTS: Endoscopy scores (0-5) and intubation scores (0-5) were significantly different [Group P 3 (1-4) vs Group R 1 (0-3) P<0.0001, Group P 3 (2-4) vs Group R 1 (0-3) P<0.0001, respectively]; with much better conditions in Group R, endoscopy times and intubation times were also significantly different, being shorter in Group R (P<0.007 and P<0.023, respectively). Patient tolerance of the procedure, judged by the discomfort scores (P<0.004) and the post-intubation scores (P<0.08), was significantly better in Group R. The level of recall for events was higher in Group R. However, there were no significant differences in the patient satisfaction scores. CONCLUSIONS: Remifentanil TCI appears to provide better conditions for AFOI when compared with propofol TCI. The disadvantage of remifentanil in this setting may be a higher incidence of recall.
This article was published in Br J Anaesth
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research