Alfentanil requirements were compared in thirty-six Asian and forty-three European patients during general anaesthesia with muscle relaxants. Alfentanil infilsion at 5 µg/kg/min was started immediately after induction with thiopentone and alcuronium. The infusion rate was reduced to 0.5 µg/kg/min after ten minutes. An incremental dose of 5 µg/kg/min for five minutes was given on each occasion when anaesthesia was clinically judged to be inadequate. Recovery parameters were recorded. Pharmacokinetics were also studied in five Europeans, four Chinese and four Nepalese. The dosage of alfentanil required was comparable in both Asian and European patients, but recovery was slower in the Asian patients. The elimination half-life in the Chinese and the Nepalese were both significantlv shorter than that of the Europeans (P < 0.05), but at the time of recovery of spontaneous ventilation, the mean plasma concentrations were not significantly different.
- ethnic groups,
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