Prophylactic atropine administration attenuates the negative haemodynamic effects of induction of anaesthesia with propofol and high-dose remifentanil: A randomised controlled trial

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Induction of anaesthesia with propofol and remifentanil often induces unwanted bradycardia and hypotension, raising concerns regarding tissue oxygenation. The electrophysiological cardiac effects of remifentanil can be reversed by atropine.

OBJECTIVE

To investigate if prophylactic administration of atropine can attenuate the negative haemodynamic effects of propofol and a high dose of remifentanil during induction of anaesthesia.

DESIGN

A double-blind, randomised controlled trial.

SETTING

Single-centre, University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands.

PATIENTS

Sixty euvolaemic patients scheduled for surgery under general anaesthesia.

INTERVENTIONS

Anaesthesia was induced and maintained with a target-controlled infusion of propofol with a target effect-site concentration (Ce) of 2.5 μg ml−1, remifentanil (target-controlled infusion), (Ce 8 ng ml−1) and cis-atracurium. Methylatropine (500 μg) or 0.9% saline was administered at immediately before induction of anaesthesia.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

The changes (Δ) in mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), cardiac index (CI), rate pressure product, cerebral tissue oxygenation and peripheral tissue oxygenation between induction of anaesthesia (T0) and 10 min later (T10).

RESULTS

Atropine significantly attenuated the changes in the outcome measures between T0 and T10. Median (inter-quartile range) changes were MAP, Δ = −24 (−40 to −21) vs. Δ = −37 mmHg (−41 to −31) (P = 0.02); HR, Δ = 0 ± 13 vs. −19 ± 11 bpm (P < 0.01); CI, Δ = −0.4 ± 0.7 vs. −0.9 ± 0.6l min−1 m−2 (P < 0.01) and rate pressure product, Δ = −3241 (−5015 to −613) vs. Δ = −5712 mmHg min−1 (−6715 to −3917) (P < 0.01). Cerebral tissue oxygenation and peripheral tissue oxygenation did not change in either group. Maximum HR after atropine was 102 (86 to 116) vs. 85 bpm (76 to 95).

CONCLUSION

Administration of atropine, before induction of anaesthesia with propofol and high-dose remifentanil, can significantly reduce the decreases in HR, MAP and CI.

TRIAL REGISTRATION

Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01871922.

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