Clinical Research Papers:

Anesthetic dreaming, anesthesia awareness and patient satisfaction after deep sedation with propofol target controlled infusion: A prospective cohort study of patients undergoing day case breast surgery

Marco Cascella _, Roberta Fusco, Domenico Caliendo, Vincenza Granata, Domenico Carbone, Maria Rosaria Muzio, Giuseppe Laurelli, Stefano Greggi, Francesca Falcone, Cira Antonietta Forte and Arturo Cuomo

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:79248-79256. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17238

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Marco Cascella1, Roberta Fusco2, Domenico Caliendo1, Vincenza Granata2, Domenico Carbone3, Maria Rosaria Muzio4, Giuseppe Laurelli5, Stefano Greggi5, Francesca Falcone5, Cira Antonietta Forte6 and Arturo Cuomo1

1Department of Anesthesia, Endoscopy and Cardiology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS, Fondazione G. Pascale, Napoli, Italia

2Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Radiant and Metabolic Therapy, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS, Fondazione G. Pascale, Napoli, Italia

3Department of Emergency Medicine, Umberto I Hospital, Nocera Inferiore, Salerno, Italia

4Division of Infantile Neuropsychiatry, UOMI, Maternal and Infant Health, Torre del Greco, Napoli, Italia

5Gynecologic Oncology Surgery, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS, Fondazione G. Pascale, Napoli, Italia

6Psychology, Division of Pain Medicine, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS, Fondazione G. Pascale, Napoli, Italia

Correspondence to:

Marco Cascella, email: [email protected]

Keywords: anesthesia, anesthesia awareness, deep, intravenous, sedation

Received: February 27, 2017    Accepted: March 21, 2017    Published: April 19, 2017


Background. Anesthetic dreaming and anesthesia awareness are well distinct phenomena. Although the incidence of intraoperative awareness is more common among patients who reported a dream after surgery, the exact correlation between the two phenomena remains an unsolved rebus. The main purpose of this study was to investigate anesthetic dreaming, anesthesia awareness and psychological consequences eventually occurred under deep sedation. Intraoperative dreaming experiences were correlated with dream features in natural sleep.

Methods. Fifty-one patients, undergoing surgical excision of fibroadenomas under a Bispectral index-guided deep sedation anesthesia with propofol target controlled infusion, were enrolled into this prospective study. Psychological assessment was performed through the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. A questionnaire was adopted to register dreaming and anesthesia awareness. Data were collected after emergence (t0), 24 hours (t1), 1 month (t2), 6 months (t3).

Results. Six patients (12%) reported anesthetic dreaming at t0 confirming the response at each subsequent evaluation. One patient (2%) confirmed dreaming during anesthesia in all, but denied it at t0. There was a high correlation between the intraoperative dream contents and the features of dreams in natural sleep. No cases of anesthesia awareness were detected. A similar level of satisfaction was observed in dreaming and no-dreaming patients.

Conclusions. Anesthetic dreaming does not seem to influence satisfaction of patients undergoing deep sedation with propofol target controlled infusion. A psychological assessment would seem to improve the evaluation of possible psychological consequences in dreamer patient.

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