Remifentanil-TCI and propofol-TCI for conscious sedation during fibreoptic intubation in the acromegalic patient

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SummaryBackground and objectiveTo evaluate the use of remifentanil–propofol administered as target-controlled infusion during awake fibreoptic intubation for anticipated difficult tracheal intubation in acromegalic patients.MethodIn all, 20 consecutive acromegalic patients underwent elective endonasal endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary surgery. After premedication with midazolam 0.03 mg kg−1, initially a target-controlled infusion of remifentanil 1.0 ng mL−1 and propofol 1.5 μg mL−1 was started. The fibreoptic intubation was performed by the same physician experienced with the fibreoptic technique. During the fibreoptic procedure the target concentrations of remifentanil and propofol ranged between 1.0 and 5.0 ng mL−1, and between 1.5 and 3.5 μg mL−1, respectively. Changes in heart rate and mean arterial pressure were recorded during airway manipulation, during tracheal intubation, and at 1 and 3 min after. On the first postoperative day, patient recall and level of discomfort during fibreoptic intubation were evaluated.ResultsEndotracheal intubation was efficaciously and quickly secured in all patients. A significant increase in mean arterial pressure and heart rate was recorded only during tracheal intubation (P < 0.05). Oxygenation was sufficient and no bradypnea or apnoea was recorded. All patients later described their anaesthetic experience as satisfactory. During fibreoptic intubation, remifentanil (ng mL−1) and propofol (μg mL−1) mean effect-site concentrations were 3.2 ± 0.3 and 2.0 ± 1.0, respectively.ConclusionRemifentanil and propofol target-controlled infusion provided satisfactory conscious sedation allowing for successful oral fibreoptic intubation in acromegalic patients with no recall.

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