(HealthDay News) — Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a significant difference in premedication type compared with children without ASD, although in other respects, their perioperative experiences are similar, according to a study published in the November issue of Pediatric Anesthesia.

Brook Arnold, MD, from Northern Colorado Anesthesia Professionals in Fort Collins, and colleagues examined the perioperative experience of children with vs. without ASD in a retrospective cohort study. One hundred twenty-one ASD patients were compared with 881 non-ASD patients undergoing general anesthesia for dental rehabilitation from 2006–2011.

The researchers found that the ASD group was significantly more likely to have nonstandard premedication types, while children without ASD were significantly more likely to have standard premedication types after adjustment for age, weight, and gender. Other outcome measures did not differ significantly between the groups.

“There is much to be learned about this unique patient population, and a more in-depth prospective evaluation is warranted to help better delineate the best approach to caring for these patients,” the authors write.

One author was employed by Spectrum Research Inc.

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