Experience with remifentanil–sevoflurane balanced anesthesia for abdominal surgery in neonates and children less than 2 years

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Few data report remifentanil use in the neonatal population. We described here our experience with remifentanil–sevoflurane balanced anesthesia in neonates and children less than 2 years who underwent general anesthesia for abdominal surgery.


We retrospectively studied the pattern of remifentanil infusion associated with sevoflurane inhalation in preterm neonates (PTN; n = 18) (born before 37 weeks of gestation and <45 weeks of postmenstrual age), full-term neonates (FTN; n = 21) (born after 37 weeks of gestation and less than 29 days old) and older children up to 2 years (CUT; n = 24). We recorded heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP), mean remifentanil dose and sevoflurane concentration before incision and at 5, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 105 min after incision.


We observed that remifentanil doses used during surgery were lower in PTN than in both FTN and CUT and lower in FTN than in CUT. This was because of a progressive decrease in remifentanil dose during anesthesia in PTN and FTN. Conversely, remifentanil doses increased in CUT during anesthesia. Sevoflurane concentrations were higher in CUT group than in PTN and FTN groups. MAP and HR did not vary in the three groups during anesthesia.


Remifentanil–sevoflurane anesthesia can be used for general anesthesia in neonates. We observed that anesthetists used lower doses of remifantanil and lower concentrations of sevoflurane in neonates compared with the older children.

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