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Abstract: A comparison of the cost-effectiveness of remifentanil versus fentanyl as an adjuvant to general anesthesia for outpatient gynecologic surgery.


Beers RA, Calimlim JR, Uddoh E, Esposito BF, Camporesi EM.


Department of Anesthesiology, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.


Anesth Analg. 2000 Dec;91(6):1420-5.


The unique pharmacokinetic properties of remifentanil make it a potentially useful adjuvant during general anesthesia for ambulatory surgery. Fentanyl, inexpensive and easy to administer, is the most common opioid used for this purpose. As an adjuvant to general anesthesia for outpatient gynecologic surgery, we questioned if remifentanil was cost-effective as an alternative to fentanyl. Thirty-four patients undergoing gynecologic laparoscopy or hysteroscopy were prospectively and randomly assigned to a standard practice (n = 18) or a study (n = 16) group. Standard practice patients received fentanyl (3 microg/kg) before induction; study patients received remifentanil by continuous infusion (0.5 microg x kg. min(-1) at induction, then 0.2 microg x kg x min(-1)). Sevoflurane was titrated to a Bispectral index value of 40-55. We investigated recovery profiles, patient and health care professional satisfaction, and drug costs. The incidence of rescue antiemetic treatment (2 of 16 vs. 8 of 18; P = 0.013) and the nausea visual analog scale scores during second stage recovery (0.2 vs. 0.6; P = 0.044) were more frequent in the study group. However, the incidence of intraoperative adverse events and other postoperative sequelae, recovery times, pain and nausea visual analog scale scores, opioid analgesic dosage requirements in the postanesthetic care unit, and satisfaction survey responses were similar between groups. Perioperative drug costs per patient were $17.72 more in the remifentanil (vs. fentanyl) group.


Opioid Analgesia Fentanyl Remifentanil Gynaecology Surgery Laparoscopy Hysteroscopy