The phencyclidine derivatives Ketamine anesthetic is a non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. It produces “dissociative anesthesia”, characterized by evidence on the EEG of dissociation between the thalamo-cortical and limbic systems and a cataleptic state in which the eyes remain open with a slow nystagmic gaze.
The patient becomes noncommunicative with an apparent wakefulness state. It produces intense analgesia at subanaesthetic doses and amnesia.
Ketamine anesthetic is used frequently in clinical anesthesiology practice, especially for short and superficial procedures.
The advantages of airway protection and lack of respiratory depression make ketamine a good choice for procedures where endotracheal intubation is not to be done.
Dissociative anesthesia is typical to ketamine anesthesia where, although the patient looks conscious due to his open eyes, he is still in deep anesthesia.