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      Addition of dexmedetomidine or fentanyl to ropivacaine for transversus abdominis plane block: evaluation of effect on postoperative pain and quality of recovery in gynecological surgery

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          Transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block is reportedly a preferable technique for reducing postoperative pain in abdominal surgeries. The aim of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy and recovery quality after gynecological surgery by adding dexmedetomidine or fentanyl into an ultrasound-guided TAP block.


          We randomly assigned 100 elective gynecological patients into four groups (TAP, TAP-DEX, TAP-FEN, and control, n=25 in each). TAP blocks were performed postoperatively. The control group received patient-controlled intravenous analgesia (PCIA), the TAP group received TAP blocks with 0.375% ropivacaine, the TAP-DEX group received 0.375% ropivacaine with dexmedetomidine 1 µg/kg, and the TAP-FEN group received 0.375% ropivacaine with fentanyl 1 µg/kg. The primary outcomes were the first request time for PCIA bolus and quality of postoperative recovery assessed using the QoR-40 questionnaire 2 days after surgery. The secondary outcomes were the visual analog scale (VAS) scores at rest across the different time intervals, the total number of PCIA boluses required in 24 and 48 hours postoperatively, and associated complications.


          The first request time for PCIA was significantly longer in the TAP-DEX than in the TAP, TAP-FEN, and control groups (9.86±0.77, 7.86±0.56, 8.79±0.55, and 1.56±0.65 hours, respectively; P<0.01). The QoR-40 scores were highest in the TAP-DEX group ( P<0.05). The mean PCIA bolus consumption in the first 24–48 hours was lowest in TAP-DEX group. VAS showed significant differences between TAP-DEX and TAP-FEN groups only at 6 hours ( P<0.01).


          The use of dexmedetomidine as an adjuvant to TAP blocks could facilitate postoperative analgesia and improve the quality of recovery without increasing related complications.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Validity and reliability of a postoperative quality of recovery score: the QoR-40.

          Quality of recovery after anaesthesia is an important measure of the early postoperative health status of patients. We attempted to develop a valid, reliable and responsive measure of quality of recovery after anaesthesia and surgery. We studied 160 patients and asked them to rate postoperative recovery using three methods: a 100-mm visual analogue scale (VAS), a nine-item questionnaire and a 50-item questionnaire; the questionnaires were repeated later on the same day. From these results, we developed a 40-item questionnaire as a measure of quality of recovery (QoR-40; maximum score 200). We found good convergent validity between QoR-40 and VAS (r = 0.68, P < 0.001). Construct validity was supported by a negative correlation with duration of hospital stay (rho = -0.24, P < 0.001) and a lower mean QoR-40 score in women (162 (SD 26)) compared with men (173 (17)) (P = 0.002). There was also good test-retest reliability (intra-class ri = 0.92, P < 0.001), internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.93, P < 0.001) and split-half coefficient (alpha = 0.83, P < 0.001). The standardized response mean, a measure of responsiveness, was 0.65. The QoR-40 was completed in less than 6.3 (4.9) min. We believe that the QoR-40 is a good objective measure of quality of recovery after anaesthesia and surgery. It would be a useful end-point in perioperative clinical studies.
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            Perineural dexmedetomidine added to ropivacaine for sciatic nerve block in rats prolongs the duration of analgesia by blocking the hyperpolarization-activated cation current.

            The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that the increased duration of analgesia caused by adding dexmedetomidine to local anesthetic results from blockade of the hyperpolarization-activated cation (I(h)) current. In this randomized, blinded, controlled study, the analgesic effects of peripheral nerve blocks using 0.5% ropivacaine alone or 0.5% ropivacaine plus dexmedetomidine (34 μM or 6 μg/kg) were assessed with or without the pretreatment of α(1)- and α(2)-adrenoceptor antagonists (prazosin and idazoxan, respectively) and antagonists and agonists of the I(h) current (ZD 7288 and forskolin, respectively). Sciatic nerve blocks were performed, and analgesia was measured by paw withdrawal latency to a thermal stimulus every 30 min for 300 min postblock. The analgesic effect of dexmedetomidine added to ropivacaine was not reversed by either prazosin or idazoxan. There were no additive or attenuated effects from the pretreatment with ZD 7288 (I(h) current blocker) compared with dexmedetomidine added to ropivacaine. When forskolin was administered as a pretreatment to ropivacaine plus dexmedetomidine, there were statistically significant reductions in duration of analgesia at time points 90-180 min (P < 0.0001 for each individual comparison). The duration of blockade for the forskolin (768 μM) followed by ropivacaine plus dexmedetomidine group mirrored the pattern of the ropivacaine alone group, thereby implying a reversal effect. Dexmedetomidine added to ropivacaine caused approximately a 75% increase in the duration of analgesia, which was reversed by pretreatment with an I(h) current enhancer. The analgesic effect of dexmedetomidine was not reversed by an α(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist.
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              Ultrasound-guided transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block.


                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                16 November 2018
                : 11
                : 2897-2903
                Department of Anesthesiology, Chongqing University Cancer Hospital/Chongqing Cancer Institute, Chongqing, China, yangbin4332@ 123456outlook.com
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Bin Yang, Department of Anesthesiology, Chongqing University Cancer Hospital/Chongqing Cancer Institute, 181 Hanyu Road, Shapingba District, Chongqing 400030, China, Tel +86 23 6507 5690, Fax +86 23 6507 5692, Email yangbin4332@ 123456outlook.com
                © 2018 Chen 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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