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      Efficacy of perineural dexamethasone with ropivacaine in thoracic paravertebral block for postoperative analgesia in elective thoracotomy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

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          The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of perineural dexamethasone with ropivacaine in multimodal analgesia for thoracic paravertebral block (TPVB) in patients undergoing elective thoracotomy.

          Patients and methods

          Ninety-six patients undergoing thoracotomy were enrolled in this trial and randomized to adjuvant therapy for TPVB: group S (saline), group R (0.5% ropivacaine), or group RD (5 mg dexamethasone and 0.5% ropivacaine). Postoperative analgesia, recovery duration, and chronic pain were recorded.


          Groups R and RD spent less time in the postanaesthesia care unit, had earlier out-of-bed activity, and had shorter postoperative hospital stays compared with group S. The RD group regained consciousness faster and had lower acute pain scores and used less patient-controlled analgesia during the first 72 h after surgery compared with group S. Postthoracotomy pain was decreased in group RD (19.0%) compared with group S (47.6%) 3 months postoperatively, p = 0.050.


          Perineural dexamethasone with ropivacaine for TPVB improves postoperative analgesia quality, reduces recovery time, and may decrease the incidence of chronic pain after thoracotomy with an opioid-based anesthetic regimen.

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          Most cited references 47

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          Multimodal analgesia for controlling acute postoperative pain.

          Multimodal analgesia is needed for acute postoperative pain management due to adverse effects of opioid analgesics, which can impede recovery; a problem that is of increasing concern with the rapid increase in the number of ambulatory surgeries. Yet, the literature on multimodal analgesia often shows variable degrees of success, even with studies utilizing the same adjuvant medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors consistently reduce postoperative opioid consumption. The N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists have produced variable results in studies, which may be due to the dose and timing of drug administration. Alpha-2 adrenergic agonists have been useful as adjuvant for regional analgesia but not when administered orally. The alpha-2-delta receptor modulators such as gabapentin have shown early promising results in multimodal analgesia. Local anesthetic injection at the surgical site, though not as a preemptive analgesic, has recently been demonstrated to be beneficial in multimodal analgesia. No new adjuvants have appeared in the last year, which robustly reduce opioid consumption and opioid-related adverse effects. There is a continuing need to explore new drug combinations to achieve all of the purported goals of multimodal anesthesia.
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            Thoracic paravertebral block.

             M G Karmakar (2001)
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              Prediction of postoperative pain: a systematic review of predictive experimental pain studies.

              Quantitative testing of a patient's basal pain perception before surgery has the potential to be of clinical value if it can accurately predict the magnitude of pain and requirement of analgesics after surgery. This review includes 14 studies that have investigated the correlation between preoperative responses to experimental pain stimuli and clinical postoperative pain and demonstrates that the preoperative pain tests may predict 4-54% of the variance in postoperative pain experience depending on the stimulation methods and the test paradigm used. The predictive strength is much higher than previously reported for single factor analyses of demographics and psychologic factors. In addition, some of these studies indicate that an increase in preoperative pain sensitivity is associated with a high probability of development of sustained postsurgical pain.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                11 September 2018
                : 11
                : 1811-1819
                [1 ]Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease of Chinese Academy of Science, Department of Biophysics and Neurobiology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui 230027, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Anaesthesiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei City, Anhui 230031, People’s Republic of China, 18019951656@ 123456163.com
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Erwei Gu, Department of Anaesthesiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei City, Anhui 230031, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 139 6666 3478, Fax +86 551 6292 2384, Email 18019951656@ 123456163.com

                These authors equally contributed to this work

                © 2018 Mao 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.

                Clinical Trial Report

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                thoracotomy, chronic pain, nerve block, dexamethasone


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