This study was undertaken to compare desflurane with propofol anesthesia in outpatients undergoing peripheral orthopedic surgery. Data were combined from two institutions participating in a multicenter study. Ninety-one patients, ASA physical status I or II, were each randomly assigned to one of four groups. After administration of fentanyl (2 μg/kg) and d-tubocurarine (3 mg), intravenous propofol was administered to induce anesthesia in groups I and II and desflurane in groups III and IV. Maintenance was provided by desflurane/N2O in groups I and III, propofol/N2O in group II, and desflurane/O2 in group IV. Emergence and recovery variables, psychometric test results, and side effects were recorded by observers unaware of the experimental treatment. Patients in group II experienced less nausea than other groups (P = 0.002) despite this group having required more intraoperative fentanyl supplementation than groups III and IV (P = 0.01). Time to emergence, discharge, and psychometric test results were similar in all groups. Desflurane appears to be comparable with propofol as an outpatient anesthetic, facilitating rapid recovery and discharge home.
Address correspondence to Dr. Rapp, Department of Anesthesiology, RN-10, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195.
© 1992 International Anesthesia Research Society