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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094On-line version ISSN 1806-907X


MELLO, Sérgio Silva de; MARQUES, Ronaldo Soares  and  SARAIVA, Renato Ângelo. Respiratory complications in patients with cerebral palsy undergoing general anesthesia. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2007, vol.57, n.5, pp.455-464. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJETIVES: Anesthesia in patients with cerebral palsy (CP) poses a challenge for the anesthesiologist. The objective of this prospective study was to determine the prevalence and risk of respiratory complications in children with CP undergoing general inhalational anesthesia for computed tomography. METHODS: Patients with ages ranging from 1 to 17 years, physical status ASA I to III, undergoing general inhalational anesthesia with sevoflurane and laryngeal mask for a CT scan from June 2002 to June 2003, participated in this study. Patients were divided in 3 groups: quadriplegic CP (CPQ), other types of CP (CPO), and patients without CP (NCP). Parents or guardians answered a questionnaire that assessed the past medical history of the patient, upper respiratory infections (URI), asthma, seizures, oropharyngeal dysfunction, gastroesophageal reflux, etc. Data on the incidence and severity of respiratory complications were gathered prospectively (cough, bronchospasm, laryngeal spasm, hypoxemia, aspiration, etc). The size of the study group was calculated for an expected 5% incidence in the NCP group, with a 15% difference among groups (a = 0.05 and b = 0.1), using the Chi-square test, Fisher exact test, and test t Student. RESULTS: Two hundred and ninety patients, divided in three groups, participated in this study. Groups were composed of: CPQ = 100 patients, CPO = 79 patients, and NCP = 111 patients. There were no differences on the prevalence of respiratory infections among the CPQ (4%), CPO (8.9%), and NCP (7.3%) groups. There was a correlation between the presence of URI and the development of complications (relative risk of 10.71). CONCLUSIONS: Children with cerebral palsy with spastic quadriplegia do not seem to have an increased risk of respiratory complications during general inhalational anesthesia with sevoflurane and laryngeal mask. This study confirms URI as a risk factor for the development of those complications.

Keywords : ANESTHESIA, General [inhalation]; COMPLICATION [respiratory]; DISEASES, Neurologic [cerebral palsy].

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