Background: There is no ideal anesthesia protocol to perform short invasive procedures in pediatric oncology. The combination of propofol and ketamine may offer advantages over propofol alone.
Methods: In a prospective, randomized, double-blind study, we analyzed 63 consecutive procedures performed in 47 oncology children. All patients received 1 mug/kg fentanyl, followed by propofol 1 mg/kg in group P (n=33) or propofol 0.5 mg/kg and ketamine 0.5 mg/kg in group PK (n=30) for the initiation of anesthesia. The need for supplementation with propofol and/or fentanyl to maintain an adequate level of anesthesia was recorded. The hemodynamic and respiratory profile, recovery time and the occurrence of side effects were compared.
Results: Significantly more children required propofol (100% vs. 83.3%) and fentanyl (75.5% vs. 43.3%) rescue doses, and developed hypotension (63.6% vs. 23.4%) and bradycardia (48.5 vs. 23.4%) in group P compared with group PK, with a comparable incidence of respiratory adverse events and recovery times. However, 40% of children in group PK were agitated following recovery compared with 6% in group P.
Conclusions: The combination of propofol and ketamine for invasive procedures in pediatric oncology resulted in reduced propofol and fentanyl consumption and preserved hemodynamic stability, but more children in the combination group recovered with agitation.