Smoking is one of the most common addictions in the world. Nicotine inhalation could increase the risk of cardiorespiratory diseases. However, the solution that improved postoperative analgesia for highly nicotine-dependent patients undergoing thoracic surgery has not been specifically addressed.
This CONSORT-prospective, randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial investigated the efficacy of combination of dexmedetomidine and sufentanil for highly nicotine (Fagerstrom test of nicotine dependence ≥6)-dependent patients after thoracic surgery.
One hundred seventy-four male patients who underwent thoracic surgery were screened between February 2014 and November 2014, and a total of forty-nine were excluded. One hundred thirty-two highly nicotine-dependent male patients who underwent thoracic surgery and received postoperative patient-controlled intravenous analgesia were divided into 3 groups after surgery in this double-blind, randomized study: sufentanil (0.02 μg/kg/h, Group S), sufentanil plus dexmedetomidine (0.02 μg/kg/h each, Group D1), or sufentanil (0.02 μg/kg/h) plus dexmedetomidine (0.04 μg/kg/h) (Group D2). The patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) program was programmed to deliver a bolus dose of 2 ml, with background infusion of 2 ml/h and a lockout of 5 min, 4-hour limit of 40 ml, as our retrospective study. The primary outcome measure was the cumulative amount of self-administered sufentanil; the secondary outcome measures were pain intensity (numerical rating scale, NRS), level of sedation (LOS), Bruggrmann comfort scale (BCS), functional activity score (FAS), and concerning adverse effects.
The amount of self-administered sufentanil were lower in group D2 compared with S and D1 groups during the 72 hours after surgery ( P < 0.05), whereas the total dosage and dosage per body weight of sufentanil were significantly lower in D1 group than that of S group only at 4, 8, and 16 hours after surgery ( P < 0.05). Compared with S group, the NRS scores at rest at 1, 4, and 8 hours after surgery and with coughing at 4, 8, 16, and 24 hours after surgery were significantly lower in D2 group (P < 0.05). However, compared with D1 group, the NRS scores both at rest and with coughing at 4 and 8 hours after surgery were significantly lower in D2 group ( P < 0.05). The NRS scores both at rest and with coughing show that there were no significant differences between D1 group and S group at each time point after surgery ( P > 0.05). LOS of group D2 was higher than S and D1 groups at 1 hour after surgery ( P < 0.05), BCS of group D2 was higher than S and D1 groups at 4, 8, and 16 hours after surgery ( P < 0.05), and FAS of group D2 was higher than S and D1 groups at 48 and 72 hours after surgery ( P < 0.05). The number of rescue analgesia during 72 hours after surgery in D2 group was lower than S and D1 groups ( P < 0.05). There were no significant differences among the 3 groups in terms of baseline clinical characteristics and postoperative adverse effects except for itching ( P > 0.05).
Among the tested patient-controlled analgesia options, the addition of dexmedetomidine (0.04 μg/kg/h) and sufentanil (0.02 μg/kg/h) showed better analgesic effect and greater patient satisfaction without other clinically relevant side effects for highly nicotine-dependent patients during the initial 72 hours after thoracic surgery.
Trial Registration: chictr.org (ChiCTR-TRC-14004191).