A prospective, randomized clinical comparison of sevoflurane and halothane in children.

A. Villani, P. Zuccoli, C. Rovella, R. Laviani, E. Gulli, A. M. Guddo, G. Scoyni, A. Casati

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BACKGROUND: The goal of the present multicenter investigation was to compare in a prospective and randomized study the induction, the maintenance and the recovery characteristics of halothane and sevoflurane when used in paediatric patients. METHODS: With the approval of the Ethical Committee and the parental written informed consent, 64 children aged 3-12 years, receiving general anaesthesia for urological, abdominal, and orthopaedic surgery, were studied. After oral flunitrazepam (0.05 mg kg-1), general anaesthesia was randomly induced by either sevoflurane (start: 1%, maximum: 7%, n = 32) or halothane (start: 0.5%, maximum: 4.5%, n = 32) and a 60% N2O in oxygen mixture until the loss of eyelash reflex (induction time). Then the trachea was intubated (if necessary, a muscle relaxant was administrated), and the concentrations of the anaesthetic vapours were adjusted in order to maintain cardiovascular stability until the end of surgery. The following times were recorded: time of extubation, time for having purposeful movements, time of eyes opening and readiness for discharge from the recovery area, as well as the occurrence of untoward events during either induction of, maintenance of, or recovery from anaesthesia. Before surgery and 24 hr after the procedure, blood was collected in order to measure serum creatinine and BUN. RESULTS: No differences in induction time, extubation time, side effects and postoperative renal function were observed between the two groups. Four patients in each group received muscle relaxants to perform intubation (p = NS). When compared to halothane group, children receiving sevoflurane had shorter times of showing purposeful movements (median: 9 min versus 15.5 min, p <0.005), emergence from anaesthesia (median: 12 min versus 18 min, p <0.05) and achieving readiness to be discharged (median: 18 min. versus 30 min, p <0.005). Sevoflurane group also showed a more stable heart rate during the induction period than halothane one (p = 0.05). DISCUSSION: Sevoflurane is as effective as halothane in providing smooth and rapid induction of anaesthesia, while recovery is considerably faster and haemodynamic tolerance is better if compared to halothane; this suggests that sevoflurane could be an useful substitute for halothane in pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Issue number9 Suppl 3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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    Villani, A., Zuccoli, P., Rovella, C., Laviani, R., Gulli, E., Guddo, A. M., Scoyni, G., & Casati, A. (1998). A prospective, randomized clinical comparison of sevoflurane and halothane in children. Minerva Anestesiologica, 64(9 Suppl 3), 3-10.