Current Issue - November/December 2023 - Vol 26 Issue 7


  1. 2023;23;E761-E773Hemodynamic Influences of Remimazolam Versus Propofol During the Induction Period of General Anesthesia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
    Systematic Review
    Xilin Peng, MM, Congqi Liu, MM, Yihao Zhu, MM, Ling Peng, MD, Xueguang Zhang, MM, Wei Wei, MD, and Tao Zhu, MD.

BACKGROUND: Remimazolam is a novel ultrashort-effect benzodiazepine. In 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration approved it for procedural sedation. Remimazolam is beneficial for consistent sedation and quick recovery in painless gastrointestinal endoscopy. Propofol is one of the most commonly used intravenous anesthetics in clinical practice. Recently, only a few studies have compared propofol with remimazolam for general anesthesia induction.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of our systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the hemodynamic effects of remimazolam and propofol during the induction of general anesthesia.

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials.

METHODS: The authors retrieved the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases for studies published through September 30, 2022, which reported relevant prospective randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing remimazolam with propofol for general anesthesia.
The primary outcome was hemodynamic changes, including the absolute value of fluctuation of mean arterial pressure (delta MAP) and heart rate delta HR). The secondary outcomes were the following 2 indicators: the occurrence of total adverse events and the quality of recovery from general anesthesia at 24 hours postsurgery. RevMan 5.4.1 (The Nordic Cochrane Centre for The Cochrane Collaboration) and trial sequential analysis were used to execute the statistical analyses. The different domains of bias were judged by the Cochrane risk of the bias assessment tool.

RESULTS: The authors identified 189 papers in PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science. Eight articles with 964 patients were selected. The included studies had moderate quality. For primary outcomes, the lower delta HR (mean difference [MD] = -4.99; 95% CI, -7.97 to -2.00; I² = 41.6%; P = 0.001] and delta MAP (MD = -5.91; 95% CI. -8.57 to -3.24; I² = 0%; P < 0.0001) represent more stable hemodynamic characteristics in the remimazolam group. Regarding secondary outcomes, a considerably lower incidence of total adverse events was noted in the remimazolam group than that for the propofol group (odds ratio [OR] = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.58; I² = 63%; P < 0.00001). In comparison to the propofol group, remimazolam achieved an advantage score of quality of recovery -15 in 24 hours postsurgery (MD = 5.31, 95% CI, 1.51 to 9.12; I² = 87%; P = 0.006).

LIMITATION: Firstly, there are only a handful of published RCTs on the administration of remimazolam in general anesthesia. In addition, due to patient privacy, we could not extract individual patient data, therefore we could not combine and assess any variations in patient characteristics.

CONCLUSION: Evidence suggests that remimazolam has a lower hemodynamic effect during general anesthesia and fewer perioperative adverse effects after general anesthesia than propofol; however, which agent is superior regarding quality benefit in postoperative recovery based on the studies included here remains inconclusive. Additional RCTs with updated meta-analyses to enlarge the sample size and properly analyze the benefit-to-risk ratio to patients are needed to determine the evidence for such a relatively new medicine.

KEY WORDS: Remimazolam, propofol, general anesthesia, hemodynamic, adult