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Abstract: Randomized comparison of remifentanil-propofol with a sciatic-femoral nerve block for out-patient knee arthroscopy.


Casati A, Cappelleri G, Berti M, Fanelli G, Di Benedetto P, Torri G.


Vita Salute University, Department of Anaesthesiology, IRCCS H. San Raffaele, Milano, Italy.


Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2002 Feb;19(2):109-14.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To evaluate preparation and discharge times as well as the anaesthesia-related costs of out-patient knee arthroscopy performed with a combined sciatic-femoral nerve block, or a propofol-remifentanil general anaesthetic. METHODS: With Ethics Committee approval and written informed consent, 40 healthy patients were pre-medicated with intravenous midazolam (0.05 mg kg(-1)) and ketoprofen (50 mg). They were then randomly allocated to receive either a combined sciatic-femoral nerve block with 25 mL mepivacaine 2% (15 mL for the femoral nerve, 10 mL for the sciatic nerve) (PNB group, n = 20), or a general anaesthetic with a continuous intravenous infusion of remifentanil (0.1-0.3 microgkg(-1) min(-1)) and propofol (target plasma concentration 2-4 microg mL(-1)) with a laryngeal mask airway (GA group, n = 20). RESULTS: The median (range) preparation time was 16 (10-28)min in the PNB group and 13 (8-22)min in the GA group (P = 0.015). Ten PNB patients were directly discharged to the day-surgery unit after the procedure as compared with one GA patient (P = 0.003). Discharge from the postanaesthesia care unit (PACU) required 5 (5-20) min in the PNB group and 23 (7-95) min in the GA group (P = 0.001). Home discharge criteria were fulfilled after 277 (150-485) min in the PNB group and 170 (100-400) min in the GA group (P = 0.005). Costs related to the time spent in the PACU were lower for the PNB group (1.10 euro, range Euro 0-22 euro) compared with the GA group (30 euro, range 0-176 euro) (P = 0.0005). There were no differences in total costs: PNB group 158 euro (range 105-194 euro) versus GA group 160 euro (range 101-238 euro) (P = 0.61). CONCLUSIONS: In patients undergoing out-patient knee arthroscopy, the length of stay in the PACU can be shorter after a sciatic-femoral nerve block with a small volume of mepivacaine 2% compared with a propofol-remifentanil anaesthetic, and there is an increased likelihood that they will bypass the first phase of the postoperative recovery.


Anaesthesia General Regional Surgery Orthopaedic Arthroscopy Knee