The removal of the laryngeal mask airway (LMA®) in children may be associated with respiratory adverse events. The rate of occurrence of these adverse events may be influenced by the type of anesthesia. Studies comparing total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) with propofol and sevoflurane are limited with conflicting data whether propofol is associated with a lower incidence of respiratory events upon removal of LMA as compared to induction and maintenance with sevoflurane. We hypothesized that TIVA with propofol is superior to sevoflurane in providing optimal conditions and improved patient’s safety during emergence.
In this prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trial, children aged 6 months to 7 years old were enrolled in 1 of 2 groups: the TIVA group and the sevoflurane group. In both groups, patients were mechanically ventilated. At the end of the procedure, LMAs were removed when patients were physiologically and neurologically recovered to a degree to permit a safe, natural airway. The primary aim of this study was to compare the occurrence of at least 1 respiratory adverse event, the prevalence of individual respiratory adverse events, and the airway hyperreactivity score following emergence from anesthesia between the 2 groups. Secondary outcomes included ease of LMA insertion, quality of anesthesia during the maintenance phase, hemodynamic stability, time to LMA removal, and incidence of emergence agitation.
Children receiving TIVA with propofol had a significantly lower incidence (10.8.% vs 36.2%; relative risk, 0.29; 95% CI [0.14–0.64]; P = .001) and lower severity (P = .01) of respiratory adverse outcomes compared to the patients receiving inhalational anesthesia with sevoflurane. There were no statistically significant differences in secondary outcomes between the 2 groups, except for emergence agitation that occurred more frequently in patients receiving sevoflurane (P < .001).
Propofol induction and maintenance exerted a protective effect on healthy children with minimal risk factors for developing perioperative respiratory complications, as compared to sevoflurane.