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      Postoperative pain and patient-controlled epidural analgesia-related adverse effects in young and elderly patients: a retrospective analysis of 2,435 patients

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          Abstract

          In this retrospective study, data of 2,435 patients who received fentanyl and ropivacaine-based patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) for pain relief after elective surgery under general or spinal anesthesia were reviewed. Differences in postoperative pain, incidence of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)-related adverse effects, and risk factors for the need for rescue analgesics for 48 hours postsurgery in young (age 20–39 years) and elderly (age ≥70 years) patients were evaluated. Although there were no significant differences in postoperative pain intensity between the two groups until 6 hours postsurgery, younger patients experienced greater postoperative pain intensity compared with older patients 6–48 hours postsurgery. While younger patients exhibited greater incidence of numbness, motor weakness, and discontinuation of PCA postsurgery, elderly patients exhibited greater incidence of hypotension, nausea/vomiting, rescue analgesia, and antiemetic administration. Upon multivariate analysis, low fentanyl dosage and history of smoking were found to be associated with an increased need for rescue analgesia among younger patients, while physical status classification III/IV and thoracic surgery were associated with a decreased need for rescue analgesia among the elderly. Discontinuation of PCA was more frequent among younger patients than the elderly (18.5% vs 13.5%, P=0.001). Reasons for discontinuation of PCA among young and elderly patients, respectively, were nausea and vomiting (6.8% vs 26.6%), numbness or motor weakness (67.8% vs 11.5%), urinary retention (7.4% vs 8.7%), dizziness (2.2% vs 5.2%), and hypotension (3.1% vs 20.3%). In conclusion, PCEA was more frequently associated with numbness, motor weakness, and discontinuation of PCA in younger patients and with hypotension, nausea/vomiting, and a greater need for rescue analgesics/antiemetics among elderly patients. Therefore, in order to minimize the adverse effects of PCEA and enhance pain relief, different PCEA regimens and administration/prevention strategies should be considered for young and elderly patients.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Epidural anesthesia and analgesia. Their role in postoperative outcome.

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            Effectiveness and safety of postoperative pain management: a survey of 18 925 consecutive patients between 1998 and 2006 (2nd revision): a database analysis of prospectively raised data.

            Approximately 30-80% of postoperative patients complain about moderate to severe post-surgical pain, indicating that postoperative pain treatment is still a problem. We analysed prospectively collected data on patients in a university hospital receiving systemic and epidural patient-controlled analgesia and continuous peripheral nerve block (CPNB) documented by the acute pain service team in a computer-based system. Of 18 925 patients visited in the postoperative period between 1998 and 2006, 14 223 patients received patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA), 1591 i.v. patient-controlled analgesia (IV-PCA), 1737 continuous brachial plexus block, and 1374 continuous femoral/sciatic nerve block. Mean dynamic and resting pain scores (VAS 0-100) were significantly lower for peripheral or neuroaxial regional analgesia compared with patient-controlled systemic opioid analgesia (P<0.05). The risk of a symptomatic spinal mass lesion including epidural haematoma (0.02%; 1:4741) or epidural abscess (0.014%; 1:7142) after PCEA was 1:2857 (0.04%). Neurological complications after CPNB occurred in two patients who received interscalene brachial plexus block. We demonstrated that PCEA, IV-PCA, and CPNB are safe and efficient. Although all of these treatment strategies provide effective analgesia, PCEA and CPNB provided superior pain relief compared with IV-PCA. We demonstrated that serious complications of analgesic techniques are rare but possibly disastrous necessitating a close supervision by an acute pain service. We found a low rate of adverse effects including hypotension and motor impairment and a low incidence of epidural haematoma for thoracic PCEA compared with lumbar PCEA.
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              Efficacy of postoperative patient-controlled and continuous infusion epidural analgesia versus intravenous patient-controlled analgesia with opioids: a meta-analysis.

              The authors performed a meta-analysis and found that epidural analgesia overall provided superior postoperative analgesia compared with intravenous patient-controlled analgesia. For all types of surgery and pain assessments, all forms of epidural analgesia (both continuous epidural infusion and patient-controlled epidural analgesia) provided significantly superior postoperative analgesia compared with intravenous patient-controlled analgesia, with the exception of hydrophilic opioid-only epidural regimens. Continuous epidural infusion provided statistically significantly superior analgesia versus patient-controlled epidural analgesia for overall pain, pain at rest, and pain with activity; however, patients receiving continuous epidural infusion had a significantly higher incidence of nausea-vomiting and motor block but lower incidence of pruritus. In summary, almost without exception, epidural analgesia, regardless of analgesic agent, epidural regimen, and type and time of pain assessment, provided superior postoperative analgesia compared to intravenous patient-controlled analgesia.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2017
                12 April 2017
                : 10
                : 897-904
                Affiliations
                Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Dong Woo Han, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 211 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-720, South Korea, Tel +82 2 2019 3529, Fax +82 2 3463 0940, Email hanesth@ 123456yuhs.ac
                Article
                jpr-10-897
                10.2147/JPR.S133235
                5396922
                © 2017 Koh 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.

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