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We report the successful management of general anesthesia for a patient with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD). PMD is one of a group of progressive, degenerative disorders of the cerebral white matter. The typical clinical manifestations of PMD include psychomotor retardation, nystagmus, abnormal muscle tone, seizures, and cognitive impairment. General anesthesia for a patient with PMD may be difficult mainly because of seizures and airway complications related to poor pharyngeal muscle control. In addition, the possibility of exacerbation of spasticity should be considered. A 20-year-old man with PMD required removal of impacted wisdom teeth under general anesthesia. General anesthesia was induced with thiamylal, fentanyl, and desflurane. Anesthesia was maintained with desflurane and continuous intravenous remifentanil under bispectral index and train-of-4 monitoring. Anesthesia lasted 1 hour 20 minutes and was completed uneventfully. Airway complications, seizures, and exacerbation of spasticity did not occur postoperatively. Preoperatively, our patient had no history of epilepsy attacks or aspiration pneumonia, and no clinical symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Therefore, exacerbation of spasticity was one of the most likely potential complications. Identification of these associated conditions and evaluation of risk factors during preoperative examination is important for performing safe anesthesia in these patients.

Keywords: General anesthesia; Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease; BIS; Body temperature; Desflurane
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Article Contents

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