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      Effects of low-dose ketamine infusion on remifentanil-induced acute opioid tolerance and the inflammatory response in patients undergoing orthognathic surgery

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          Remifentanil is associated with acute opioid tolerance that can lead to increased postoperative consumption of opioid analgesics. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a low dose of ketamine prevents remifentanil-induced acute opioid tolerance and affects the neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a newly recognized biomarker of inflammation.

          Materials and methods

          Forty patients undergoing orthognathic surgery were enrolled in this prospective, randomized, double-blind study and randomly assigned to intraoperative administration of one of the following anesthetic regimens: high-dose remifentanil (0.6 µg/kg/minute); low-dose remifentanil (0.2 µg/kg/minute); or high-dose remifentanil with ketamine (remifentanil 0.6 µg/kg/minute with 0.5 mg/kg ketamine just after induction followed by an intraoperative infusion of ketamine 5 µg/kg/minute until wound closure). Fentanyl by intravenous patient-controlled analgesia was used for postoperative pain control. Visual Analog Scale pain scores and fentanyl consumption were recorded in the first 24 hours postoperatively. Perioperative serum C-reactive protein level and NLR were also determined.


          Baseline characteristics were similar in the three study groups. There were no between-group differences in Visual Analog Scale pain scores during the study period. The high-dose remifentanil group had a significantly higher requirement for fentanyl than the other two groups. Addition of ketamine did not affect the C-reactive protein level but increased the NLR; this increase was associated with decreased fentanyl consumption.


          High-dose intraoperative remifentanil induced postoperative acute opioid tolerance that was prevented by infusion of low-dose ketamine. Ketamine increased the postoperative NLR associated with decreased fentanyl requirement for postoperative pain control.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Influence of age and gender on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of remifentanil. I. Model development.

          Previous studies have reported conflicting results concerning the influence of age and gender on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of fentanyl, alfentanil, and sufentanil. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of age and gender on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the new short-acting opioid remifentanil. Sixty-five healthy adults (38 men and 27 women) ages 20 to 85 y received remifentanil by constant-rate infusion of 1 to 8 micrograms.kg-1.min-1 for 4 to 20 min. Frequent arterial blood samples were drawn and assayed for remifentanil concentration. The electroencephalogram was used as a measure of drug effect. Population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling was performed using the software package NONMEM. The influence of volunteer covariates were analyzed using a generalized additive model. The performances of the simple (without covariates) and complex (with covariates) models were evaluated prospectively in an additional 15 healthy participants ages 41 to 84 y. The parameters for the simple three-compartment pharmacokinetic model were V1 = 4.98 l, V2 = 9.01 l, V3 = 6.54 l, Cl1 = 2.46 l/min, Cl2 = 1.69 l/min, and Cl3 = 0.065 l/min. Age and lean body mass were significant covariates. From the ages of 20 to 85 y, V1 and Cl1 decreased by approximately 25% and 33%, respectively. The parameters for the simple sigmoid Emax pharmacodynamic model were Ke0 = 0.516 min-1, E0 = 20 Hz, Emax = 5.62 Hz, EC50 = 11.2 ng/ml, and gamma = 2.51. Age was a significant covariate of EC50 and Ke0, with both decreasing by approximately 50% for the age range studied. The complex pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model performed better than did the simple model when applied prospectively. This study identified (1) an effect of age on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of remifentanil; (2) an effect of lean body mass on the pharmacokinetic parameters; and (3) no influence of gender on any pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic parameter.
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            Suppression of natural killer cell activity and promotion of tumor metastasis by ketamine, thiopental, and halothane, but not by propofol: mediating mechanisms and prophylactic measures.

            Postoperative immunosuppression is partly ascribed to anesthesia and has been suggested to compromise patients' resistance to infection and tumor metastasis. We compared the effects of various anesthetics on natural killer (NK) cell activity and on resistance to experimental metastasis, and studied mediating mechanisms and prophylactic measures. Fischer 344 rats served as controls or were anesthetized for 1 h with ketamine, thiopental, halothane, or propofol. Anesthetized rats were either maintained in normothermia or left to spontaneously reach 33 degrees C-35 degrees C. Rats were then injected IV with MADB106 tumor cells, and 24 h later lung tumor retention was assessed, or 3 wk later, lung metastases were counted. Additionally, the number and activity of circulating NK cells were assessed after anesthesia. All anesthetics, except propofol, significantly reduced NK activity and increased MADB106 lung tumor retention or lung metastases. Hypothermia had no significant effects. Ketamine increased metastasis most potently, and this effect was markedly reduced in rats pretreated with a beta-adrenergic antagonist (nadolol) or with chronic small doses of an immunostimulator (polyriboinosinic:polyribocytidylic acid). Overall, the marked variation in the NK-suppressive effects of anesthetics seems to underlie their differential promotion of MADB106 metastasis. Prophylactic measures may include perioperative immunostimulation and the use of beta-blockers. This study in a rat model of pulmonary metastasis demonstrates that some anesthetics, but not others, increase susceptibility to tumor metastasis, apparently by suppressing natural killer cell activity. Ketamine was most deleterious, and its effects were prevented by peripheral blockade of beta-adrenoceptors combined with low levels of immunostimulation.
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              Opioid-induced hyperalgesia in patients after surgery: a systematic review and a meta-analysis.

              Opioids can increase sensitivity to noxious stimuli and cause opioid-induced hyperalgesia. We performed a systematic review to evaluate the clinical consequences of intra-operative doses of opioid. We identified randomized controlled trials which compared intra-operative opioid to lower doses or placebo in adult patients undergoing surgery from MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILAC, Cochrane, and hand searches of trial registries. We pooled data of postoperative pain intensity, morphine consumption, incidence of opioid-related side-effects, primary and secondary hyperalgesia. For dichotomous outcomes relative risks [95% confidence intervals (CIs)] and for continuous outcomes mean differences (MDs) or standardized mean difference (SMD; 95% CI) were calculated. Twenty-seven studies involving 1494 patients were included in the analysis. Patients treated with high intra-operative doses of opioid reported higher postoperative pain intensity than the reference groups (MD: 9.4 cm; 95% CI: 4.4, 14.5) at 1 h, (MD: 7.1 cm; 95% CI: 2.8, 11.3) at 4 h, and (MD: 3 cm; 95% CI: 0.4, 5.6) at 24 h on a 100 cm visual analogue scale. They also showed higher postoperative morphine use after 24 h (SMD: 0.7; 95% CI: 0.37, 1.02). There was no difference in the incidences of nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness. These results were mainly associated with the use of remifentanil. The impact of other opioids is less clear because of limited data. This review suggests that high intra-operative doses of remifentanil are associated with small but significant increases in acute pain after surgery. © The Author [2014]. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Journal of Anaesthesia. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                17 January 2019
                : 12
                : 377-385
                [1 ]Department of Dental Anesthesiology and Pain Management, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan, kido@ 123456me.com
                [2 ]Department of Oral Medicine and Surgery, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Graduate School of Dentistry, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Kanta Kido, Department of Dental Anesthesiology and Pain Management, Tohoku University Hospital, 4-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan, Tel +81 22 717 8420, Fax +81 22 717 8404, Email kido@ 123456me.com
                © 2019 Kido et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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