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      Use of a continuous local anesthetic infusion for pain management after median sternotomy.

      Anesthesiology

      Adult, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Anesthetics, Local, administration & dosage, blood, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, adverse effects, methods, Chi-Square Distribution, Disease Management, Double-Blind Method, Female, Humans, Infusions, Intravenous, Male, Middle Aged, Pain, Postoperative, drug therapy, etiology, Postoperative Care, Prospective Studies, Statistics, Nonparametric, Sternum, surgery

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          Abstract

          The use of large doses of opioid analgesics to treat pain after cardiac surgery can prolong the time to tracheal extubation and interfere with recovery of bowel and bladder function in the postoperative period. Therefore, the authors investigated the efficacy of a continuous infusion of bupivacaine 0.25% or 0.5%, at the median sternotomy site, for 48 h after cardiac surgery in reducing the opioid analgesic requirement and improving the recovery process. In this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, 36 consenting patients undergoing open-heart surgery with a standardized general anesthetic technique had two indwelling infusion catheters placed at the median sternotomy incision site at the end of surgery. The patients were randomly assigned to receive normal saline (control), bupivacaine 0.25% or bupivacaine 0.5% via an elastomeric infusion pump at a constant rate of 4 ml/h for 48 h. Patients evaluated their chest pain using an 11-point verbal rating scale, with 0 = no pain to 10 = worst pain imaginable. In addition, the postoperative opioid analgesic requirements and opioid-related adverse effects were recorded. Patient satisfaction with their pain management was assessed at specific intervals during the postoperative period using a 100-point verbal rating scale, with 1 = highly dissatisfied to 100 = highly satisfied. Finally, serum bupivacaine concentrations were measured 24 and 48 h after surgery. Compared with the control group, there was a statistically significant reduction in verbal rating scale pain scores and patient-controlled analgesia morphine use in the bupivacaine-0.5% group. Patient satisfaction with their pain management was also improved in the bupivacaine-0.5% (vs. control) group. However, there were no significant differences in patient-controlled analgesia morphine use between the bupivacaine-0.25% and control groups. Although the duration of the intensive care unit stay (30 vs. 34 h, respectively) was not significantly decreased, the time to ambulation (1 +/- 0.5 vs. 2 +/- 1 days, respectively) and the duration of hospital stay (4.2 vs. 5.7 days, respectively) were lower in the bupivacaine-0.5% group than in the control group. Mean +/- SD serum bupivacaine concentrations at 48 h in the bupivacaine-0.25% and bupivacaine-0.5% groups were 0.5 +/- 0.5 and 1.3 +/- 0.7 microg/ml, respectively. A continuous infusion of bupivacaine 0.5% at 4 ml/h is effective for decreasing pain and the need for opioid analgesic medication as well as for improving patient satisfaction with their pain management after cardiac surgery. Patients in the bupivacaine-0.5% group were able to ambulate earlier, leading to a reduced length of hospital stay.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Effects of perioperative analgesic technique on the surgical outcome and duration of rehabilitation after major knee surgery.

          Continuous passive motion after major knee surgery optimizes the functional prognosis but causes severe pain. The authors tested the hypothesis that postoperative analgesic techniques influence surgical outcome and the duration of convalescence. Before standardized general anesthesia, 56 adult scheduled for major knee surgery were randomly assigned to one of three groups, each to receive a different postoperative analgesic technique for 72 h: continuous epidural infusion, continuous femoral block, or intravenous patient-controlled morphine (dose, 1 mg; lockout interval, 7 min; maximum dose, 30 mg/4 h). The first two techniques were performed using a solution of 1% lidocaine, 0.03 mg/ml morphine, and 2 microg/ml clonidine administered at 0.1 ml x kg(-1) x h(-1). Pain was assessed at rest and during continuous passive motion using a visual analog scale. The early postoperative maximal amplitude of knee flexion was measured during continuous passive motion at 24 h and 48 h and compared with the target levels prescribed by the surgeon. To evaluate functional outcome, the maximal amplitudes were measured again on postoperative day 5, at hospital discharge (day 7), and at 1- and 3-month follow-up examinations. When the patients left the surgical ward, they were admitted to a rehabilitation center, where their length of stay depended on prospectively determined discharge criteria The continuous epidural infusion and continuous femoral block groups showed significantly lower visual analog scale scores at rest and during continuous passive motion compared with the patient-controlled morphine group. The early postoperative knee mobilization levels in both continuous epidural infusion and continuous femoral block groups were significantly closer to the target levels prescribed by the surgeon than in the patient-controlled morphine group. On postoperative day 7, these values were 90 degrees (60-100 degrees)(median and 25th-75th percentiles) in the continuous epidural infusion group, 90 degrees (60-100 degrees) in the continuous femoral block group, and 80 degrees (60-100 degrees) in the patient-controlled morphine group (P < 0.05). The durations of stay in the rehabilitation center were significantly shorter: 37 days (range, 30-45 days) in the continuous epidural infusion group, 40 days (range, 31-60 days) in the continuous femoral block group, and 50 days (range, 30-80 days) in the patient-controlled morphine group (P < 0.05). Side effects were encountered more frequently in the continuous epidural infusion group. Regional analgesic techniques improve early rehabilitation after major knee surgery by effectively controlling pain during continuous passive motion, thereby hastening convalescence.
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            Pain location, distribution, and intensity after cardiac surgery.

            To study the location, distribution, and intensity of pain in a sample of adult cardiac surgery patients during their postoperative hospital stay. In a prospective study, pain location, distribution (number of pain areas per patient), and intensity (0 to 10 numerical rating scale) were documented on the first, second, third, and seventh postoperative day (POD). Patient characteristics (age, sex, size, and body mass index) were analyzed for their impact on pain intensity. A university hospital. Two hundred consecutive adult patients who underwent median sternotomy for open heart surgery. There were 121 male and 79 female patients, with a mean (+/- SD) age of 60.9 +/- 19.2 years. The maximal pain intensity was significantly higher on POD 1 and 2 (3.7 +/- 2 and 3.9 +/- 1.9, respectively) and lower on POD 3 and 7 (3.2 +/- 1.5 and 2.6 +/- 1.8, respectively). The pain distribution did not vary significantly throughout the hospital stay, but the location did, with more shoulder pain on POD 7. Only age was found to have an impact on pain intensity, with patients < 60 years having a higher pain intensity than older patients on POD 2 (4.3 +/- 2.2 vs 3.6 +/- 2.4; p = 0.02). In this patient population, the pain intensity diminished from POD 3 onward, although its distribution did not vary significantly during the first postoperative week. Moreover, pain location changed with time, with more osteoarticular type pain at the end of the first postoperative week. Among the patients' characteristics, only younger age had an impact on pain intensity, with a higher value on POD 2.
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              A prospective randomized study of the potential benefits of thoracic epidural anesthesia and analgesia in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

              We performed an open, prospective, randomized, controlled study of the incidence of major organ complications in 420 patients undergoing routine coronary artery bypass graft surgery with or without thoracic epidural anesthesia and analgesia (TEA). All patients received a standardized general anesthetic. Group TEA received TEA for 96 h. Group GA (general anesthesia) received narcotic analgesia for 72 h. Both groups received supplementary oral analgesia. Twelve patients were excluded-eight in Group TEA and four in Group GA-because of incomplete data collection. New supraventricular arrhythmias occurred in 21 of 206 patients (10.2%) in Group TEA compared with 45 of 202 patients (22.3%) in Group GA (P = 0.0012). Pulmonary function (maximal inspiratory lung volume) was better in Group TEA in a subset of 93 patients (P < 0.0001). Extubation was achieved earlier (P < 0.0001) and with significantly fewer lower respiratory tract infections in Group TEA (TEA = 31 of 206, GA = 59 of 202; P = 0.0007). There were significantly fewer patients with acute confusion (GA = 11 of 202, TEA = 3 of 206; P = 0.031) and acute renal failure (GA = 14 of 202, TEA = 4 of 206; P = 0.016) in the TEA group. The incidence of stroke was insignificantly less in the TEA group (GA = 6 of 202, TEA = 2 of 206; P = 0.17). There were no neurologic complications associated with the use of TEA. We conclude that continuous TEA significantly improves the quality of recovery after coronary artery bypass graft surgery compared with conventional narcotic analgesia.
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