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Comparative Evaluation of Remifentanil and Dexmedetomidine in General Anesthesia for Cesarean Delivery

Chengwen Li, Yandong Li, Kun Wang, Xiangang Kong

(Department of Anesthesiology, Jining No. 1 People’s Hospital, Jining, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:3806-3813

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.895209


BACKGROUND: Use of remifentanil and dexmedetomidine in general anesthesia for cesarean section have been described. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of remifentanil and dexmedetomidine on maternal hemodynamics and bispectral index, and neonatal outcomes in elective caesarean delivery.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty-four women undergoing elective cesarean delivery with ASA I or II and term or near-term singleton pregnancies were randomly assigned to receive remifentanil at a loading dose of 2 μg/kg over 10 min followed by a continuous infusion of 2 μg/kg/h until about 6 min before fetal delivery (Group REM), or dexmedetomidine at a loading dose of 0.4 μg/kg over 10 min followed by a continuous infusion of 0.4 μg/kg/h until about 6 min before fetal delivery (Group DEX). Maternal hemodynamics and BIS values were recorded. Neonatal effects were assessed using Apgar scores and umbilical cord blood gas analysis.
RESULTS: Mean arterial pressure (MAP) increased after intubation in both groups, and the change magnitude of the MAP was higher in Group DEX (P<0.05). Patients in Group DEX had a lower BIS value at recovery and consumed less propofol during surgery (P<0.05). The incidences of neonatal resuscitation at 1 min were 81.8% in Group REM and 54.5% in Group DEX (P=0.052). There was no significant difference in either group in Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min and umbilical cord blood gas values.
CONCLUSIONS: Both remifentanil and dexmedetomidine are effective to blunt hemodynamic responses to intubation and also seem safe for neonates at the administrated doses, but remifentanil still has the potential to cause neonatal transient respiratory depression.

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