• Anesthesia: obstetrics;
  • Anesthetic intravenous: propofol;
  • Anesthetic technique: intravenous

Several studies on propofol (Diprivan) for induction of anaesthesia during caesarean section have demonstrated its safety, however, its safely during maintenance of anaesthesia is not yet fully evaluated.

The present study was undertaken to compare the maternal and neonatal effects of propofol or isoflurane in 74 term parturients undergoing primary or repeat caesarean section. Patients were randomly assigned to two groups, propofol group (n = 37) received propofol 1.5–2.5 mg·kg-1 for induction followed by a continuous infusion of propofol of 0.05–0.2 mg 4mD kg-1· min-1. The isoflurane group (n=37) received thiamylal 3–4 mg · kg-1 for induction followed by isollurane 0.25–0.75% for maintenance. All patients had rapid sequence induction using suceinyl-choline and endotracheal intubation, 50% N2O and O2 were used in all patients until delivery. After delivery N2O concentration was increased to 67% and intravenous butorphanol (Stadol) was given as needed. Patients in the propofol group had less hypertension after intubation (P<0.05) and this was also of shorter duration compared to patients in the isoflurane group (5 min vs 10 min respectively). Maternal blood loss as well as intraoperative awareness and recovery time did not differ significantly between the two groups. Neonatal status as ascertained by Apgar scores, cord acid base status and the neurological and adaptive capacity scores (NACS) was equally good in both groups. It is concluded that propofol used for induction and maintenance of anaesthesia is a safe alternative to thiamylal/isoflurane for patients undergoing caesarean section and is associated with less hypertensive response during laryngoscopy and intubation.