BACKGROUND Previous studies and meta analyses have led to incongruent and incomplete results respectively when total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) and inhalational anesthesia (IA) are compared in endoscopic sinus surgeries in regards to intraoperative bleeding and visibility. OBJECTIVE To perform a more comprehensive meta-analysis on randomized controlled trial (RCTs) comparing TIVA with IA in endoscopic sinus surgery to evaluate their effects
on intraoperative bleeding and visibility. METHODS A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing TIVA and IA in endoscopic sinus surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis was completed in May 2020. Utilizing databases, articles were systematically screened for analysis and 19 studies met our inclusion criteria. The primary outcome included intraoperative visibility scores combining Boezaart, Wormald and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Secondary outcomes included rate of blood loss (mL/kg/min), estimated total blood loss (mL), Boezaart, Wormald scores, VAS, heart rate, and mean arterial pressure (MAP). RESULTS 19 RCTs with 1,010 patients were analyzed. TIVA had a significantly lower intraoperative bleeding score indicating better endoscopic visibility (Boezaart, VAS, and Wormald) than IA (-0.514, p = 0.020). IA had a significantly higher average rate of blood loss than TIVA by 0.563 mL/kg/min (p = 0.016). Estimated total blood loss was significantly lower in TIVA than IA (-0.853 mL, p = 0.002). There were no significant differences between TIVA and IA in the mean heart rate (-0.225, p = 0.63) and MAP values (-0.126, p = 0.634). The subgroup analyses revealed no significant difference between TIVA and IA when remifentanil was not utilized and whenever desflurane was the IA agent. CONCLUSION TIVA seemed to have superior intraoperative visibility scores and blood loss during endoscopic sinus surgery when compared to IA. However, the results are not consistent when stratifying the results based on the use of remifentanil and different inhaled anesthetics. Therefore, the conclusion cannot be made that one approach is superior to the other.