Effects of Intra-Operative Total Intravenous Anaesthesia with Propofol versus Inhalational Anaesthesia with Sevoflurane on Post-Operative Pain in Liver Surgery: A Retrospective Case-Control Study

PLoS One. 2016 Feb 22;11(2):e0149753. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149753. eCollection 2016.


Background: Patients receiving total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) with propofol have been shown to experience less postoperative pain. We evaluated the post-operative analgesic effects of propofol compared with sevoflurane maintenance of anesthesia in liver surgery. This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02179437).

Methods: In this retrospective study, records of patients who underwent liver surgery between 2010 and 2013 were reviewed. Ninety-five patients anesthetized with propofol TIVA were matched with 95 patients anesthetized with sevoflurane. Numeric pain rating scale (NRS) pain scores, postoperative morphine consumption, side effects and patients' satisfaction with pain relief were evaluated.

Results: The TIVA group reported lower NRS pain scores during coughing on postoperative days 1 and 2 but not 3 (p = 0.0127, p = 0.0472, p = 0.4556 respectively). They also consumed significantly less daily (p = 0.001 on day 1, p = 0.0231 on day 2, p = 0.0004 on day 3), accumulative (p = 0.001 on day 1, p<0.0001 on day 2 and p = 0.0064 on day 3) and total morphine (p = 0.03) when compared with the sevoflurane group. There were no differences in total duration of intravenous patient controlled analgesia (PCA) morphine use and patient satisfaction. No difference was found in reported side effects.

Conclusion: Patients anesthetized with propofol TIVA reported less pain during coughing and consumed less daily, accumulative and total morphine after liver surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, Intravenous / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / surgery*
  • Male
  • Methyl Ethers / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Propofol / administration & dosage*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sevoflurane


  • Methyl Ethers
  • Sevoflurane
  • Propofol

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02179437

Grant support

This submission was funded by the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Hong Kong. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.