Objective: Ketamine is an anaesthetic agent with a unique dissociative profile and pharmacological effects ranging from the induction and maintenance of anaesthesia to analgesia and sedation, depending on the dose. This article provides information for the clinical use of ketamine in anaesthesia, in both conventional and special circumstances.
Methods: This is a non-systematic review of the literature, through a PubMed search up to February 2021.
Results: With a favourable pharmacokinetic profile, ketamine is used in hospital and prehospital settings for emergency situations. It is suitable for patients with many heart conditions and, unlike other anaesthetics, its potential for cardiorespiratory depression is low. Furthermore, it may be used when venous access is difficult as it may be administered through various routes. Ketamine is the anaesthetic of choice for patients with bronchospasm thanks to its bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory properties.
Conclusion: With a favourable pharmacokinetic profile, ketamine is used in hospital and prehospital settings for emergency situations and is suitable for patients with many cardiac and respiratory conditions.