Propofol vs. Thiopental-Isoflurane for Neurosurgical Anesthesia: Comparison of Hemodynamics, CSF Pressure, and Recovery


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Abstract

Sixty otherwise healthy patients with no clinical signs of intracranial hypertension who were undergoing elective intracranial surgery were randomly assigned to receive anesthesia with either thiopental, 3–6 mg/kg i.v., and isoflurane, 0.5–1.5% (group 1, N = 30) or propofol, 1–2.5 mg/kg i.v., and propofol infusion, 40–200 μg/kg/h (group 2, N = 30). Both groups received 50% nitrous oxide in O2 subsequent to dural opening. During induction, the changes in heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP), cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFP), and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) were similar between the groups, except at 3 min when the findings (mean ± SEM) for CPP (81 ± 3.3 vs. 70.3 ± 2.8 mm Hg, p <0.05) were significantly lower in group 2. At intubation, the highest level of MAP (103.1 ± 3.3 vs. 88.9 ± 2.7 mm Hg, p <0.05) was significantly greater in group 1. At pinhead-holder application, the highest values of HR (81.8 ± 3 vs. 73.9 ± 2.1 beats/min, p <0.05), MAP (112.2 ± 3.6 vs. 98.3 ± 3 mm Hg, p <0.05), CSFP (15.2 ± 1.3 vs. 11.6 ± 1.1 mm Hg, p <0.05), and CPP (97.0 ± 3.9 vs. 86.7 ± 3.3 mm Hg, p <0.05) were significantly greater in group 1. During early (20–30 min) recovery, group 2 had higher Glasgow Coma Scale scores and a greater percentage of patients in whom eye opening, response to commands, extubation, speech, and time/space orientation were present. In conclusion, when compared to thiopentalisoflurane for intracranial surgery, propofol produces similar HR, MAP, CSFP, and CPP responses during induction, adequate control of these responses during nociceptive stimulation, and faster recovery for cerebral function postoperatively.

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