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Effects of remifentanil and alfentanil on seizure duration, stimulus amplitudes and recovery parameters during ECT.

Author(s): Akcaboy ZN, Akcaboy EY, Yigitbasl B, Bayam G, Dikmen B, Gogus N, Dilbaz N

Affiliation(s): Department of Anesthesiology, Ankara Numune Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. zakcaboy@yahoo.com

Publication date & source: 2005-09, Acta Anaesthesiol Scand., 49(8):1068-71.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Propofol may decrease seizure duration in electroconvulsive therapy. Although not proven, prolonged seizures may be more efficacious. The goal of this study was to evaluate and compare effects of alfentanil and remifentanil on seizure duration, recovery parameters and degree of stimulus amplitude in patients undergoing electroconvulsive therapy. METHODS: Twenty-four ASA I-II patients enrolled in this prospective, randomized trial, each receiving a total of seven electroconvulsive therapies. Patients were randomized to receive only Propofol, group P (0.75 mg kg-1, n=8), Propofol with alfentanil, group A (10 microg kg-1 alfentanil+0.5 mg kg-1 Propofol, n=8) and Propofol with remifentanil, group R (1 microg kg-1 remifentanil +0.5 mg kg-1 propofol, n=8) via an iv route. Supplemental doses of propofol were given as required to achieve loss of consciousness. Succinylcholine 0.5 mg kg-1 iv was given to all groups for muscular paralysis. We recorded hemodynamic parameters, cortical and motor seizure durations, and recovery parameters. RESULTS: Mean motor seizure duration was found to be significantly longer in patients receiving propofol-remifentanil anesthesia (53.3+/-13.6 s) and propofol-alfentanil anesthesia (52.2+/-0.4 s) compared with propofol anesthesia (37.6+/-9.2 s) (P=0.001). Recovery parameters and stimulus amplitudes were similar in groups A and R; significantly different from group P (P=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Adding 10 microg kg-1 alfentanil or 1 microg kg-1 remifentanil to reduced doses of propofol provided unconsciousness and increased seizure durations. For patients who need higher stimulus amplitudes for longer seizure durations, combining low-dose propofol with alfentanil or remifentanil may be good alternative regimens for ECT.

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