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      Efficacy of dexmedetomidine as an adjunct to ropivacaine in transversus abdominis plane block for paediatric laparoscopic surgeries: A double-blinded randomised trial

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          Background and Aims:

          α 2 agonists have been utilised in regional blocks, but very little data is available for their use in transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block in paediatric laparoscopic (LAP) surgeries. This study investigated the analgesic effect of ropivacaine alone versus its combination with dexmedetomidine for TAP block in children undergoing LAP surgery.


          A randomised, double-blind trial was conducted in 50 American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) 1 and 2 children of 2–8 years undergoing LAP abdominal surgery. Children were randomised to receive a total volume of 0.5 ml/kg of 0.2% ropivacaine (LA group) or 0.2% ropivacaine with 1 μg/kg dexmedetomidine (LAD group) for performing ultrasound-guided bilateral TAP block postoperatively (PO). Patients were monitored PO for vital signs, pain, sedation, time to first rescue analgesic and total analgesic consumption for 24 h. Time to first rescue analgesic was expressed as mean ± standard deviation (SD) and analysed using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Pain and sedation scores were expressed as median [interquartile range (IQR)] and analysed using Mann–Whitney U test.


          First rescue analgesic demand was significantly longer ( P = 0.001) in LAD (474.8 min) versus LA group (240.9 min) but total analgesics consumption in first 24 h was comparable. Pain scores were significantly lower ( P < 0.05) in LAD compared to LA group at all times PO. Each group had comparable but significantly lower sedation scores up to 24 h PO.


          Addition of dexmedetomidine to ropivacaine in TAP block prolongs the time to first analgesic requirement without a difference in the total analgesic consumption.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Dexmedetomidine as an adjuvant to ropivacaine prolongs peripheral nerve block: a volunteer study.

          Dexmedetomidine is an α-2-receptor agonist which might be used as an additive to local anaesthetics for various regional anaesthetic techniques. We therefore designed this prospective, double-blinded, controlled volunteer study to investigate the effects of dexmedetomidine as an adjuvant to ropivacaine on peripheral nerve block. Ultrasound-guided ulnar nerve block (UNB) was performed in 36 volunteers with either 3 ml ropivacaine 0.75% (R), 3 ml ropivacaine 0.75% plus 20 µg dexmedetomidine (RpD), or 3 ml ropivacaine 0.75% plus systemic 20 µg dexmedetomidine (RsD). UNB-related sensory and motor scores were evaluated. Sensory onset time of UNB was not different between the study groups, whereas motor onset time was significantly faster in Group RpD when compared with the other study groups [mean (sd)] [21 (15) vs 43 (25) min in Group RsD and 47 (36) min in Group R, P<0.05 Group RpD vs other groups]. The duration of sensory block was 350 (54) min in Group R, 555 (118) min in Group RpD, and 395 (40) min in Group RsD (P<0.01 Group RpD vs other groups, P<0.05 Group RsD vs Group R). Motor block duration was similar to the duration of sensory block. A profound prolongation of UNB of ∼60% was detected with perineural dexmedetomidine when added to 0.75% ropivacaine. The systemic administration of 20 µg dexmedetomidine resulted in a prolongation of ∼10% during UNB with 0.75% ropivacaine. Eudra-CT No.: 2012-000030-19.
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            The Analgesic Efficacy of Ultrasound-Guided Transversus Abdominis Plane Block in Adult Patients: A Meta-Analysis.

            Previous meta-analyses of the transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block have examined a maximum of 12 articles, including fewer than 650 participants, and have not examined the effect of ultrasound-guided techniques specifically. Recently, many trials that use ultrasound approaches to TAP block have been published, which report conflicting analgesic results. This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the analgesic efficacy of ultrasound-guided TAP blocks exclusively for all types of abdominal surgeries in adult patients.
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              Dexmedetomidine enhances the local anesthetic action of lidocaine via an alpha-2A adrenoceptor.

              Clonidine, an alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist, is a common adjunct in both central and peripheral blocks. Dexmedetomidine, a more selective alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist, is also known to enhance central neural blockades. Its peripheral effect, however, has not been fully elucidated. Thus, we evaluated the effect of dexmedetomidine and other alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonists on the local anesthetic action of lidocaine at the periphery and explored the mechanism involved. alpha-2 Adrenoceptor agonists, including dexmedetomidine, clonidine, and oxymetazoline, combined with lidocaine were intracutaneously injected into the back of male guinea pigs. The test of six pinpricks was applied every 5 min until 60 min after the injection. The number of times which the prick failed to elicit a response during the 60-min period was added and the sum served as an anesthetic score indicating the degree of local anesthesia. Differences from the control value within the group were analyzed using an analysis of variance followed by a post hoc Dunnett's test. Furthermore, we evaluated the antagonism of the effect of dexmedetomidine by yohimbine, an alpha-2A, 2B, and 2C adrenoceptor antagonist, or prazosin, an alpha-1, alpha-2B, and 2C adrenoceptor antagonist, analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance. All alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonists enhanced the degree of local anesthesia of lidocaine in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, yohimbine inhibited the effect of dexmedetomidine, whereas prazosin did not. We demonstrated that alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonists enhanced the local anesthetic action of lidocaine, and suggest that dexmedetomidine acts via alpha-2A adrenoceptors.

                Author and article information

                Indian J Anaesth
                Indian J Anaesth
                Indian Journal of Anaesthesia
                Wolters Kluwer - Medknow (India )
                March 2021
                20 March 2021
                : 65
                : Suppl 1
                : S27-S33
                Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research(PGIMER), Chandigarh, India, Chandigarh, India
                [1 ]Paediatric Surgery, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research(PGIMER), Chandigarh, India, Chandigarh, India
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Neerja Bhardwaj, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India. E-mail: neerja.bhardwaj@ 123456gmail.com
                Copyright: © 2021 Indian Journal of Anaesthesia

                This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

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