Background: No standardized recommendations have been currently defined for anesthesia management of patients undergoing elective intracranial surgery. It can therefore be assumed that international clinical institutions have diverging approaches or standard operating procedures (SOP) which determine the type of general anesthesia, hemodynamic management, neuromuscular blockade, implementation of hypothermia and postoperative patient care. Objective: This international survey aimed to assess perioperative patient management during elective intracranial procedures. This survey was performed from February to October 2018 and 311 neurosurgical, maximum care centers across 19 European countries were contacted. The aim was to evaluate the anesthesia management to provide relevant data of neuroanesthesia practices across European centers. The survey differentiated between vascular and non-vascular as well as supratentorial and infratentorial procedures. Results: A total of 109 (35.0%) completed questionnaires from 15 European countries were analyzed. The results illustrated that total intravenous anesthesia was most commonly implemented during elective intracranial procedures (83.8%). All centers performed endotracheal intubation prior to major intracranial surgery (100%). Central venous lines were placed in 63.3% of cases. Moderate intraoperative hypothermia was carried out in 12.8% of the procedures, especially during vascular supratentorial and infratentorial surgery. A neuromuscular blockade during surgery was implemented in 74.1% of patients. Assessment of the neuromuscular junction was performed in 59.2% of cases, 76.7% of patients were immediately extubated in the operating room. 84.7% of these patients were directly transferred to a monitoring ward or an intensive care unit (ICU) and 55.1% of ventilated patients were transferred directly to an ICU. Conclusion: The data demonstrate that many aspects of anesthesia management during elective intracranial surgery vary between European institutions. The data also suggest that a broad consensus exists regarding the implementation of total intravenous anesthesia, airway management (endotracheal intubation), the implementation of urinary catheters, large bore peripheral venous lines and the broad availability of cross-matched red blood cell concentrates. Nevertheless, anesthesia management (e.g. central venous catheterization, moderate hypothermia, neuromuscular monitoring) is still handled differently across many European institutions. A lack of standardized guidelines defining anesthetic management in patients undergoing intracranial procedures could explain this variability. Further studies could help establish optimal anesthesia management for these patients. This in turn could help in the development of national and international guidelines and SOPs which could define optimal management strategies for intracranial procedures.
- Central venous catheter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine