Aim: The kinetics of propofol are influenced by cardiac output. The aim of this study was to examine changes in blood propofol concentrations during phaeochromocytoma surgery using target-controlled infusion (TCI) anaesthesia with propofol. Methods: This is a prospective observational study. Ten patients with phaeochromocytoma who underwent unilateral adrenalectomy were included. Cardiac output was measured using an arterial pressure-based cardiac output analysis method. The target blood propofol concentrations were adjusted to maintain an approximate bispectral index (BIS) value of 40 before initiating surgery. The settings remained constant during surgery. Blood samples for propofol concentrations were collected from the radial artery at seven time points: two before tumour manipulation (T1, 2), two during tumour manipulation (T3, 4), and three after tumour vein ligation (T4–7). BIS values, the arterial pressure cardiac index (APCI) and haemodynamic parameters were measured at the same time points as the blood samples. The prop-ratio was calculated by dividing blood propofol concentrations by target concentrations of TCI. Results: APCI increased during tumour manipulation and after tumour vein ligation. The prop-ratio was reduced significantly by approximately 40% and showed a significant negative correlation with APCI. BIS values increased significantly and showed a significant negative correlation with the prop-ratio. Conclusion: The increased APCI during tumour manipulation and after tumour vein ligation was associated with markedly reduced blood propofol concentrations. These results reveal that significant decreases in the anaesthetic effect may be observed in patients undergoing phaeochromocytoma surgery even if TCI anaesthesia is used with propofol.
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