Awake craniotomies are often characterized by alternating asleep-awake-asleep periods. Preceding the awake phase, patients are weaned from anesthesia and mechanical ventilation. Although clinicians aim to minimize the time to awake for patient safety and operating room efficiency, in some patients, the time to awake exceeds 20 minutes. The goal of this study was to determine the average time to awake and the factors associated with prolonged time to awake (> 20 minutes) in patients undergoing awake craniotomy.
Records of patients who underwent awake craniotomy between 2003 and 2020 were evaluated. Time to awake was defined as the time between discontinuation of propofol and remifentanil infusion and the time of extubation. Patient and perioperative characteristics were explored as predictors for time to awake using logistic regression analyses.
Data of 307 patients were analyzed. The median (IQR) time to awake was 13 (10–20) minutes and exceeded 20 minutes in 17% (95% CI 13%–21%) of the patients. In both univariate and multivariable analyses, increased age, nonsmoker status, and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class III versus II were associated with a time to awake exceeding 20 minutes. BMI, as well as the use of alcohol, drugs, dexamethasone, or antiepileptic agents, was not significantly associated with the time to awake.
While most patients undergoing awake craniotomy are awake within a reasonable time frame after discontinuation of propofol and remifentanil infusion, time to awake exceeded 20 minutes in 17% of the patients. Increasing age, nonsmoker status, and higher ASA classification were found to be associated with a prolonged time to awake.