Effect-site Concentration of Alfentanil or Remifentanil for the Relief of Postoperative Pain in the Intensive Care Unit Patients

  • Received : 2015.05.28
  • Accepted : 2015.06.10
  • Published : 2015.06.28


This study was performed to determine the optimal doses of alfentanil or remifentanil (effect-site concentrations) required to prevent pain and other suffering after abdominal general surgery in ICU patients. A total of 52 general abdominal surgical patients (ASA IIIII) requiring artificial ventilatory care in the ICU were provided with either alfentanil (24 patients) or remifentanil (28 patients) through target controlled infusion (TCI). Alfentanil and remifentanil concentrations were titrated up and down until the pain score became less than 3 (VAS; Visual Analogue Score < 3). The effect-site concentrations (ng/ml) of alfentanil or remifentanil required to adequately control postoperative pain in the ICU were 64 +/- 12 and 1.9 +/- 0.5 for intubation with artificial ventilation, 57 +/- 9 and 1.7 +/- 0.7 for intubation with spontaneous ventilation, and 41 +/- 10 and 1.2 +/- 0.5 after extubation, respectively. Pain scores and the corresponding opioid concentrations were independent from respiratory condition. The three effect-site concentrations of alfentanil and remifentanil obtained from this clinical trial using the TCI technique can be a guideline in the administration of the same opioids to relieve the discomfort of ICU patients who have undergone abdominal general surgery.


Alfentanil;Remifentanil;Effect-site Concentrations;Target Controlled Infusion


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