The Analgesia Nociception Index (ANI), derived from heart rate variability is a proposed guide to obtain an adequate control of the analgesic component during anaesthesia. This single blind observational study was designed to evaluate the relationship between intraoperative ANI values and length of stay in Day Surgery Units (DSU) in patients undergoing varicose vein intervention. 131 patients (ASA I-II) scheduled for elective varicose vein surgery were studied. A propofol closed-loop TCI was used to maintain a specific level of BIS. To control analgesia, a remifentanil TCI was used, modifying the target according to hemodynamic changes. Patients were included in the ANI > 50 sub-group or in the ANI < 50 sub-group depending on whether the ANI value was greater than 50 for at least 60% of the anaesthesia maintenance period (AMP) or not. The primary endpoint was the length of stay in DSU. Other variables studied were ANI values, duration of the AMP, remifentanil TCI target average, postoperative pain, rescue-analgesia needs and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) were analysed. Statistical analysis of length of stay in DSU was performed with Mann-Whitney test. ANI > 50 sub-group showed a lower length of stay in the DSU [165 min (118-212) vs 186.5 min (119-254), p = 0.0425]. Discharge timing from DSU was statistically different among study sub-groups (p = 0.005). An adequate nociception level measured by ANI during varicose vein surgery might reduce the length of stay at DSU. Further studies are needed to assess the usefulness of ANI in other anaesthesia conditions.
Keywords: Ambulatory surgical; Analgesia; Monitoring anaesthesia; Nociception index; Procedures.