Low-Dose Ketamine Pretreatment Reduces the Incidence and Severity of Myoclonus Induced by Etomidate: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Controlled Clinical Trial

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Myoclonic movement induced by etomidate is a common but undesirable problem during general anesthesia induction. To investigate the influence of pretreatment with low-dose ketamine on the incidence and severity of myoclonus induced by etomidate, 104 patients were randomized allocated to 1 of 2 equally sized groups (n = 52) to receive either intravenous low-dose ketamine 0.5 mg/kg (group K) or an equal volume of normal saline (group S) 1 minute before induction of anesthesia with 0.3-mg/kg etomidate. The incidence and severity of myoclonus were assessed for 2 minutes after administration of etomidate. Here, we found that the incidence and intensity of myoclonus were both significantly reduced in low-dose ketamine-treated group compared with saline-treated group. The incidence of adverse effects was low and similar between groups. These results demonstrate that intravenous infusion of low-dose ketamine 0.5 mg/kg 1 minute prior to etomidate administration is effective in relieving etomidate-induced myoclonic movements during general anesthesia induction.

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