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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cost comparison between three different general anaesthetic techniques for elective arthroscopy of the knee.

INTRODUCTION: We compared three anaesthetic techniques for elective knee arthroscopy with special reference to cost-effectiveness. METHOD: Seventy-five ASA I-II patients having elective arthroscopy of the knee joint were randomised to receive an anaesthetic technique based on propofol, fentanyl for induction followed by sevoflurane in oxygen:nitrous oxide (1:2 l/min) for maintenance of one of two intravenous techniques: propofol alfentanil or propofol-remifentanil infusions in combination with oxygen in air. RESULTS: All patients had an uncomplicated course. No differences were seen with regard to emergence, postoperative pain or emesis or time to discharge. The anaesthetic technique based on sevoflurane was associated with the lowest cost US$ 14.7 as compared to US$ 18 for the propfol/alfentanil and US$ 19.9 for the propofol/remifentanil technique, including both cost for wastage as well as premedication and other fixed drug costs. Looking only at the anaesthetic drugs consumed, the cost per minute was US$ 0.56 for sevoflurane/nitrous oxide as compared to US$ 0.68 and 0.63 per minute for the propofol/alfentanil and proprofol/remifentanil, respectively. When the cost for wastage was taken into account, the difference in mean anaesthetic drug cost was more pronounced: the sevoflurane anaesthetic technique US$ 0.58, the propofol/alfentanil US$ 0.74 and the propofol/remifentanil US$ 0.84 per minute respectively. CONCLUSION: From a cost-minimisation point of view, anaesthesia based on sevoflurane in oxygen:nitrous oxide is the technique of choice.[1]


  1. Cost comparison between three different general anaesthetic techniques for elective arthroscopy of the knee. Heidvall, M., Hein, A., Davidson, S., Jakobsson, J. Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica. (2000) [Pubmed]
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