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Awake craniotomy anesthetic management using dexmedetomidine, propofol, and remifentanil

Authors Prontera A, Baroni S, Marudi A, Valzania F, Feletti A, Benuzzi F, Bertellini E, Pavesi G

Received 14 October 2016

Accepted for publication 12 January 2017

Published 3 March 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 593—598


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sukesh Voruganti

Andrea Prontera,1 Stefano Baroni,2 Andrea Marudi,2 Franco Valzania,3 Alberto Feletti,1 Francesca Benuzzi,4 Elisabetta Bertellini,2 Giacomo Pavesi1

1Department of Neurosurgery, Nuovo Ospedale Civile SAgostino-Estense, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Nuovo Ospedale Civile SAgostino-Estense, 3Department of Neurology, Nuovo Ospedale Civile S Agostino-Estense, 4Department of Neuroscience, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

Introduction: Awake craniotomy allows continuous monitoring of patients’ neurological functions during open surgery. Anesthesiologists have to sedate patients in a way so that they are compliant throughout the whole surgical procedure, nevertheless maintaining adequate analgesia and anxiolysis. Currently, the use of α2-receptor agonist dexmedetomidine as the primary hypnotic–sedative medication is increasing.
Methods: Nine patients undergoing awake craniotomy were treated with refined monitored anesthesia care (MAC) protocol consisting of a combination of local anesthesia without scalp block, low-dose infusion of dexmedetomidine, propofol, and remifentanil, without the need of airways management.
Results: The anesthetic protocol applied in our study has the advantage of decreasing the dose of each drug and thus reducing the occurrence of side effects. All patients had smooth and rapid awakenings. The brain remained relaxed during the entire procedure.
Conclusion: In our experience, this protocol is safe and effective during awake brain surgery. Nevertheless, prospective randomized trials are necessary to confirm the optimal anesthetic technique to be used.

Keywords: dexmedetomidine, awake surgery, anesthesia

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