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Attenuation of cardiovascular stress response to endotracheal intubation by the use of remifentanil in patients undergoing Cesarean delivery

Abstract

The induction–delivery time during Cesarean section is traditionally conducted under light anesthesia because of the possibility of anesthesia-induced neonatal respiratory depression. The serious consequences of such an approach could be the increased risk of maternal intraoperative awareness and exaggerated neuroendocrine and cardiovascular stress response to laryngoscopy, endotracheal intubation, and surgical stimuli. Here, we briefly discuss the various pharmacological options for attenuation of stress response to endotracheal intubation during Cesarean delivery and then focus on remifentanil, its pharmacokinetic properties, and its use in anesthesia, both in clinical studies and case reports. Remifentanil intravenous bolus doses of 0.5–1 μg/kg before the induction to anesthesia provide the best compromise between attenuating maternal stress response and minimizing the possibility of neonatal respiratory depression. Although neonatal respiratory depression, if present, usually resolves in a few minutes without the need for prolonged resuscitation measures, health care workers skilled at neonatal resuscitation should be present in the operating room whenever remifentanil is used.

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Correspondence to Marija S. Kutlesic.

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Kutlesic, M.S., Kutlesic, R.M. & Mostic-Ilic, T. Attenuation of cardiovascular stress response to endotracheal intubation by the use of remifentanil in patients undergoing Cesarean delivery. J Anesth 30, 274–283 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00540-015-2118-5

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Keywords

  • Anesthesia
  • Obstetrical
  • Intubation
  • Endotracheal
  • Remifentanil