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A comparative study of the haemodynamic effects of atropine and glycopyrrolate at induction of anaesthesia in children.

Author(s): Desalu I, Kushimo OT, Bode CO

Affiliation(s): Department of Anaesthesia, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

Publication date & source: 2005-04, West Afr J Med., 24(2):115-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Bradycardia following administration of halothane and suxamethonium in children leads to reduced cardiac output, which can be prevented with prophylactic anticholinergics. Anticholinergics may result in tachycardia and arrhythmias. This study was designed to compare haemodynamic changes and incidence of cardiac arrhythmias following intravenous atropine and glycopyrrolate. STUDY DESIGN: Ninety ASA I and II children between one month and twelve years were studied. Premedication was with oral promethazine 1mg/kg. Anaesthesia was achieved with 3 % halothane in 33 % oxygen and nitrous oxide. Patients were randomly allocated to receive atropine 0.01mg/kg (Group I) or glycopyrrolate 0.005mg/kg (Group II). Tracheal intubation was facilitated with suxamethonium 1.5mg/kg. RESULTS: Patients in Group I had a 35.7% rise in heart rate from baseline, compared to 22.5 % in Group II two minutes after anticholinergic administration (p=0.001). Following intubation, heart rate rose by 9.7 % and 13.2 % (p<0.05) in Groups I and II respectively. MAP rose similarly in both groups. Arrhythmia occurred in 44.4 % of patients in Group I and 11.1% in Group II (p=0.001) and were mainly sinus tachycardia. 2.2% of patients in Group I exhibited bigemini. No patient experienced bradycardia. Hypoxia occurred in 2.2 %, hypotension in 13.3% and mild laryngeal spasm in 0% of Group I and 11.1%, 4.4% and 4.4% of Group II respectively. CONCLUSION: The use of glycopyrrolate compared to atropine, offered better cardiovascular stability in Nigerian children. Arrhythmias occurred more in patients who had atropine and occurred most frequently after tracheal intubation.

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