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      Effect of Neuraxial Analgesic Procedures on Intraoperative Hemodynamics During Routine Clinical Care of Gynecological and General Surgeries: A Case–Control Query of Electronic Data

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          The purpose of this study was to determine whether neuraxial analgesic procedures affect intraoperative hemodynamics and/or postoperative outcomes. Previous studies have examined effects in small samples of patients in highly controlled research environments. This study examined “real-world” data from a large sample of subjects receiving routine clinical cares.


          A matched case–control analysis of electronic medical records from a large, academic hospital was performed. Patients who underwent neuraxial procedures preoperatively for postoperative analgesia for abdominal surgery (n=1570) were compared with control patients matched according to age, sex, ASA class and type of surgical procedure. Intraoperative hemodynamic measures, fluids and pressor utilization were quantified. Postoperative outcomes were determined based on the changes in laboratory values, the ordering of imaging studies and admission to an intensive care unit during the seven days following surgery as well as 30-day mortality.


          Medical records of 1082 patients who received an epidural catheter placement and 488 patients who received a lumbar intrathecal morphine injection were compared with an equal number of matched control patients. Preoperative placement of an epidural catheter for the management of postoperative pain was demonstrated to be associated with significant reductions in mean arterial pressure intraoperatively and poorer postoperative outcomes (more intensive care unit [ICU] admissions, more myocardial injuries) when compared with controls. A similar analysis of preoperatively administered intrathecal morphine injections was not associated with intraoperative alterations in blood pressure and had improved outcomes (less ICU admissions) in comparison with controls.


          In a “real-world” sample, intrathecal morphine administration proved to be highly beneficial as a neuraxial analgesic procedure as it was not associated with intraoperative hypotension and was associated with improved clinical outcomes, in contrast to opposite findings associated with epidural catheter placement. There should be a careful consideration of elective neuraxial method utilized for postoperative pain control, with the present study raising significant concerns related to the use of epidural analgesia and its potential effect on clinical outcomes.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Impact of epidural analgesia on mortality and morbidity after surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

          To quantify benefit and harm of epidural analgesia, compared with systemic opioid analgesia, in adults having surgery under general anesthesia.
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            Respiratory and haemodynamic effects of acute postoperative pain management: evidence from published data.

            This study examines the evidence from published data concerning the adverse respiratory and haemodynamic effects of three analgesic techniques after major surgery; i.m. analgesia, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), and epidural analgesia. A MEDLINE search of the literature was conducted for publications concerned with the management of postoperative pain. Information relating to variables indicative of respiratory depression and of hypotension was extracted from these studies. Over 800 original papers and reviews were identified. Of these papers, 212 fulfilled the inclusion criteria but only 165 provided usable data on adverse effects. Pooled data obtained from these studies, which represent the experience of a total of nearly 20,000 patients, form the basis of this study. There was considerable variability between studies in the criteria used for defining respiratory depression and hypotension. The overall mean (95% CI) incidence of respiratory depression of the three analgesic techniques was: 0.3 (0.1-1.3)% using requirement for naloxone as an indicator; 1.1 (0.7-1.7)% using hypoventilation as an indicator; 3.3 (1.4-7.6)% using hypercarbia as an indicator; and 17.0 (10.2-26.9)% using oxygen desaturation as an indicator. For i.m. analgesia, the mean (95% CI) reported incidence of respiratory depression varied between 0.8 (0.2-2.5) and 37.0 (22.6-45.9)% using hypoventilation and oxygen desaturation, respectively, as indicators. For PCA, the mean (95% CI) reported incidence of respiratory depression varied between 1.2 (0.7-1.9) and 11.5 (5.6-22.0)%, using hypoventilation and oxygen desaturation, respectively, as indicators. For epidural analgesia, the mean (95% CI) reported incidence of respiratory depression varied between 1.1 (0.6-1.9) and 15.1 (5.6-34.8)%, using hypoventilation and oxygen desaturation, respectively, as indicators. The mean (95% CI) reported incidence of hypotension for i.m. analgesia was 3.8 (1.9-7.5)%, for PCA 0.4 (0.1-1.9)%, and for epidural analgesia 5.6 (3.0-10.2)%. Whereas the incidence of respiratory depression decreased over the period 1980-99, the incidence of hypotension did not. Assuming a mixture of analgesic techniques, Acute Pain Services should expect an incidence of respiratory depression, as defined by a low ventilatory frequency, of less than 1%, and an incidence of hypotension related to analgesic technique of less than 5%.
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              Benefit and risk of intrathecal morphine without local anaesthetic in patients undergoing major surgery: meta-analysis of randomized trials.

              Intrathecal morphine without local anaesthetic is often added to a general anaesthetic to prevent pain after major surgery. Quantification of benefit and harm and assessment of dose-response are needed. We performed a meta-analysis of randomized trials testing intrathecal morphine alone (without local anaesthetic) in adults undergoing major surgery under general anaesthesia. Twenty-seven studies (15 cardiac-thoracic, nine abdominal, and three spine surgery) were included; 645 patients received intrathecal morphine (dose-range, 100-4000 microg). Pain intensity at rest was decreased by 2 cm on the 10 cm visual analogue scale up to 4 h after operation and by about 1 cm at 12 and 24 h. Pain intensity on movement was decreased by 2 cm at 12 and 24 h. Opioid requirement was decreased intraoperatively, and up to 48 h after operation. Morphine-sparing at 24 h was significantly greater after abdominal surgery {weighted mean difference, -24.2 mg [95% confidence interval (CI) -29.5 to -19.0]}, compared with cardiac-thoracic surgery [-9.7 mg (95% CI -17.6 to -1.80)]. The incidence of respiratory depression was increased with intrathecal morphine [odds ratio (OR) 7.86 (95% CI 1.54-40.3)], as was the incidence of pruritus [OR 3.85 (95% CI 2.40-6.15)]. There was no evidence of linear dose-responsiveness for any of the beneficial or harmful outcomes. In conclusion, intrathecal morphine decreases pain intensity at rest and on movement up to 24 h after major surgery. Morphine-sparing is more pronounced after abdominal than after cardiac-thoracic surgery. Respiratory depression remains a major safety concern.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                22 May 2020
                : 13
                : 1163-1172
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham , Birmingham, AL 35205, USA
                [2 ]Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham , Birmingham, AL 35205, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Timothy J Ness Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham , BMR2-208, 901 19 th St. S, Birmingham, AL35205Tel +1 205-975-9643Fax +1 205-934-7437 Email tness@uabmc.edu
                © 2020 Gallegos et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 35, Pages: 10
                Funded by: Anesthesia Education and Research
                Funded by: American Society of Anesthesiology
                Funded by: UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
                GG received travel support from the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research for presentation of these findings at the 2018 American Society of Anesthesiology meeting. GG and GS performed their portions of this study as part of the Resident Mentored Research Experience Track (RMRET) Program supported by the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.
                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                perioperative outcomes, neuraxial analgesia, hypotension


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