Studies have described different recovery profiles of sevoflurane and desflurane typically early after surgery.
We conducted a randomized superiority trial to determine whether Overall Recovery 3 days after knee arthroscopy would be superior with desflurane. Adult participants undergoing knee arthroscopic surgery with general anesthesia were randomized to either desflurane or sevoflurane general anesthesia. Intraoperative and postoperative drugs and analgesics were administered at the discretion of the anesthesiologist. Postoperative quality of recovery was assessed using the “Postoperative Quality of Recovery Scale”. The primary outcome was Overall Recovery 3 days after surgery and secondary outcomes were individual recovery domains at 15 minutes, 40 minutes, 1 day, 3 days, 1 month, and 3 months. Patients and researchers were blinded.
300 patients were randomized to sevoflurane or desflurane (age 51.7±14.1 vs. 47.3±13.5 years; duration of anesthesia 24.9±11.1 vs. 23.3±8.3 minutes). The proportion achieving baseline or better scores in all domains increased over the follow-up period in both groups but was not different at day 3 (sevoflurane 43% vs. desflurane 37%, p = 0.314). Similarly, rates of recovery increased over time in the five subdomains, with no differences between groups for physiological, p = 0.222; nociceptive, p = 0.391; emotive, p = 0.30; Activities-of-daily-living, p = 0.593; and cognitive recovery, p = 0.877.
No significant difference in the quality of recovery scale could be shown using sevoflurane or desflurane general anesthesia after knee arthroscopy in adult participants.