Background: Intraoperative blood pressure has been suggested as a key factor for safe pediatric anesthesia. However, there is not much insight into factors that discriminate between children with low and normal pre-incision blood pressure. Our aim was to explore if children who have a low blood pressure during anesthesia are different than those with normal blood pressure. The focus of the present study was on the pre-incision period.
Methods: This retrospective study included pediatric patients undergoing anesthesia for noncardiac surgery at a tertiary pediatric university hospital, between 2012 and 2016. We analyzed the association between pre-incision blood pressure and patient- and anesthesia characteristics, comparing low with normal pre-incision blood pressure. This association was further explored with a multivariable linear regression.
Results: In total, 20 962 anesthetic cases were included. Pre-incision blood pressure was associated with age (beta -0.04 SD per year), gender (female -0.11), previous surgery (-0.15), preoperative blood pressure (+0.01 per mmHg), epilepsy (0.12), bronchial hyperactivity (- 0.18), emergency surgery (0.10), locoregional technique (-0.48), artificial airway device (supgraglottic airway device instead of tube 0.07 and sevoflurane concentration (0.03 per sevoflurane %).
Conclusion: Children with low pre-incision blood pressure do not differ on clinically relevant factors from children with normal blood pressure. Although the present explorative study shows that pre-incision blood pressure is partly dependent on patient characteristics and partly dependent on anesthetic technique, other unmeasured variables might play a more important role.