Comparison of Emergence and Recovery Characteristics of Sevoflurane, Desflurane, and Halothane in Pediatric Ambulatory Patients

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This study compares the emergence and recovery characteristics of sevoflurane, desflurane, and halothane in children undergoing adenoidectomy with bilateral myringotomy and the insertion of tubes.Eighty children 1-7 yr of age were studied. Thirty minutes prior to the induction of anesthesia, all patients received 0.5 mg/kg midazolam orally. Patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups: Group 1, sevoflurane induction and maintenance (S:S); Group 2, halothane induction and sevoflurane maintenance (H:S); Group 3, halothane induction and maintenance (H:H); or Group 4, halothane induction and desflurane maintenance (H:D). Tracheal intubation was facilitated with the use of a single dose of 0.2 mg/kg mivacurium. A Mapelson D circuit was used, and all patients received N2 O:O2 60:40 for induction and maintenance at standardized appropriate fresh gas flow. Ventilation was controlled to maintain normocapnia. End-tidal concentration of anesthetics was maintained at approximately 1.3 minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration (MAC) (halothane: 0.56; sevoflurane: 2.6; desflurane: 8.3) until the end of surgery when all anesthetics were discontinued. Emergence (extubation), recovery (Steward score 6), and discharge times were compared among patients in the four groups using analysis of variance and Newman-Keuls tests. P < 0.05 was considered significant. There were no significant differences among the four groups with respect to age, weight, duration of surgery, or duration of anesthesia. Emergence and recovery from anesthesia were significantly faster in the desflurane group (Group 4) compared with the sevoflurane and halothane groups (Groups 1, 2, and 3) (5 +/- 1.6 min vs 11 +/- 3.7, 11 +/- 4.0, 10 +/- 4.0 min and 11 +/- 3.9 min vs 17 +/- 5.5, 19 +/- 7.1, 21 +/- 8.5 min, respectively). There was a significantly greater incidence of postoperative agitation and excitement in patients who received desflurane (55%) versus sevoflurane (10%) and halothane (25%). There were no significant differences among the four groups with respect to the time to meet home discharge criteria (134 +/- 36.9, 129 +/- 53.3, 117 +/- 64.6, 137 +/- 22.6 in Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively), in the time to drink oral fluids (139 +/- 31.6, 136 +/- 53.8, 123 +/- 65.0, 142 +/- 29.4 min, respectively), or in the incidence of postoperative vomiting. It is concluded that, although desflurane resulted in the fastest early emergence from anesthesia, it was associated with a greater incidence of postoperative agitation. Sevoflurane resulted in similar emergence and recovery compared with halothane. Desflurane and sevoflurane did not result in faster discharge times than halothane in this patient population.(Anesth Analg 1996;83:917-20)

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