METHODS: Patients (n = 94) scheduled for gynaecological laparotomy received i.v. fentanyl infusion (3 μg/kg/h) after induction of general anaesthesia. Post-operative fentanyl requirements were quantified by using a patient-controlled analgesia and the number of i.v. fentanyl rescue analgesia required were recorded. Pain control was assessed using visual analogue scores (VAS) and fentanyl's adverse effects were documented. CYP3A4*4, CYP3A4*5 and CYP3A4*18 alleles of cytochrome P450 3A4 were identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Differences in fentanyl requirements, VAS scores and adverse effects among the various genotypes were compared.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: No CYP3A4*4 and CYP3A4*5 alleles were detected. Eighty-nine patients (94·7%) were wild-type, five (5·3%) were heterozygous and none was homozygous. No significant difference was demonstrated between the genotype groups in terms of fentanyl consumption, pain control and adverse effects.
WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: CYP3A4*4 and CYP3A4*5 are rare in the Malaysian Malay population. Genetic polymorphism of CYP3A4*18 may not play an important role in influencing postoperative fentanyl requirements.