SAN DIEGO Fentanyl used during laser therapy for retinopathy of prematurity appeared safe and effective as an alternative choice of anesthesia, according to a study presented here.
"Our data suggest that continuous infusion with fentanyl is a safer form of sedation than morphine for preterm infants undergoing ROP laser therapy in the neonatal intensive care unit," Tamara J. Lee, MD, reported in a poster presentation at the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus meeting.
In the small observational, nonrandomized, retrospective study of consecutive preterm neonates undergoing laser treatment of ROP in the neonatal intensive care unit, 22 patients received morphine and 13 patients received fentanyl. Midazolam was also used as deemed necessary.
"Change in ventilation status was observed in 45.46% of patients in the morphine group and in 15.39% of the fentanyl group, despite increased frequency of saturation events in the fentanyl group," the authors reported. Apneic events were more common in the morphine group.
There is no consensus regarding the optimal mode of anesthesia in preterm neonates, the authors said, and prospective studies are needed to validate their clinical findings.
- Disclosure: Dr. Lee reports no relevant financial disclosures.