Multicenter Study of General Anesthesia. I. Design and Patient Demography
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A prospective randomized clinical trial of enflurane, fentanyl, halothane, and isoflurane is described. The 17,201 patients were stratified into two groups (preanesthetic medication and no preanesthetic medication) and were randomized to one of four study agents: enflurane, fentanyl, halothane, and isoflurane. Fifteen university-affiliated hospitals in the United States and Canada participated. All patients were first assessed preoperatively. Data were collected during anesthesia, in the immediate recovery period, and for up to 7 days after anesthesia/surgery. The mean age of the patients was 43 yr, the mean height 167 cm, and the mean weight 68 kg. Sixty-five percent of patients were female. In this study 90.7% of patients were classified as ASA Physical Status 1 or 2, and 34.7% of patients smoked. It is concluded that pooling of data across institutions was valid and does allow determination of the efficacy and relative safety of the four study agents.
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