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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 1999 September;65(9):611-5

language: Italian

Remifentanyl for general anesthesia in a patient with Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Gallo F., Baratto F., Munari M., Volpin S. M., Facco E.

Università degli Studi - Padova, Istituto di Anestesiologia e Rianimazione


The authors report the case of a patient suffering from central sleep apnea (CSA) who underwent neurosurgery for ventriculo-peritoneal derivation under general anesthesia. Given the risk of postoperative hypoventilation in CSA, intraoperative anesthesia was induced using remifentanyl, an opiate with a plasma half-life of less than 5 minutes. Propofol (2 mg/kg) and remifentanyl at a dose of 0.5 μg/kg was used during induction. The patient was curarised with vecuronium bromide, intubated and ventilated with a mixture of O2/N2O. During the operation, remifentanyl was administered as a continuous infusion at a starting dose of 0.2 μg/kg/min, subsequently modified according to changes in arterial pressure and heart rate. At the end of surgery, which lasted approximately 120”, decurarisation was carried out using prostigmin, and the infusion of remifentanyl was suspended, together with N2O. Reawakening times were recorded. Extubation took place 8’ and 30” after the suspension of remifentanyl. Postoperative monitoring of SpO2 continued for 1 h and blood-gas analysis was satisfactory. No hypoventilation episodes were reported throughout the postoperative period and the patient was discharged from hospital after 7 days. The authors consider that remifentanyl should be the drug of choice to guarantee intraoperative analgesia in patients suffering from CSA requiring general anesthesia.

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