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Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine
Sous presse. Epreuves corrigées par l'auteur. Disponible en ligne depuis le lundi 7 mai 2018
Doi : 10.1016/j.accpm.2018.03.012
The effect of regional anaesthesia versus general anaesthesia on behavioural functions in children

Abdul Razzak Khochfe a, Mariam Rajab a, Fouad Ziade b, Zeina Z. Naja c, Ahmad Salah Naja d, Zoher M. Naja e,
a Paediatrics Department, Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon 
b Faculty of Public Health, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon 
c Paediatrics Department, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon 
d Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon 
e Anaesthesia and Pain Management Department, Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon 

Corresponding author.

The primary objective was to assess the effect of general anaesthesia versus regional anaesthesia in a single exposure before the age of 2 years on the development of long-term behavioural changes in children.


The study was conducted between January 2014 and March 2015. Medical records of eligible children were reviewed. Then, parents of children who were included in the study were contacted and asked to visit the Outpatient Department to fill the Eyberg Child Behaviour Inventory questionnaire to measure behavioural changes in children. Children who were exposed to regional or general anaesthesia for surgery between January 2002 and December 2006 were included. Data collected were age and weight at the time of the first anaesthesia exposure and surgery duration. Chi-square test, t -test and multivariate analysis were used.


In total, 394 children were exposed to anaesthesia before the age of 2 years. Among the 168 patients who were exposed to general anaesthesia, 44 children (26.2%) developed behavioural abnormalities compared to 12 out of 226 patients (5.3%) who were exposed to regional anaesthesia (P -value<0.0001). Exposure to anaesthesia before age of 2 years increases the risk of developing behavioural disorder when surgery is accompanied by general anaesthesia, younger age at time of exposure, and longer surgery duration (P -value<0.0001, 0.001, 0.038 respectively).


Regional anaesthesia showed much lesser effect on children's behaviour compared to general anaesthesia. The incidence of behavioural disorder is increased with the use of general anaesthesia, younger age of the patient at time of exposure, and longer surgery duration.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Keywords : Regional anesthesia, General anesthesia, Behavioral change

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