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      Different effects of oxycodone and remifentanil in patients undergoing ultrasound-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of hepatic cancer: a randomized trial

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          Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a recently introduced alternative technique for the treatment of hepatic cancer. Anesthesia is required for RFA of hepatic cancer to achieve patient comfort and immobilization during this painful procedure. The purpose of this study was to investigate the analgesic efficacy and evaluate the safety of a single intravenous injection of oxycodone hydrochloride for this procedure.

          Patients and methods

          A total of 120 American Society of Anesthesiologists class I–II grade patients for elective ultrasound-guided percutaneous RFA were enrolled in this randomized controlled trial. Patients were randomized (1:1) to receive either a single intravenous injection of oxycodone (group O) or continuous infusion of remifentanil (group R). Both groups received the continuous infusion of dexmedetomidine for sedation. Visual analog scale (VAS), rescue analgesic, and side effects were checked during the periprocedural period. In addition, patient and oncologist satisfaction on a scale of 1–5 were determined.


          VAS score in group O was significantly lower than in group R at 1, 2, and 3 hours after RFA, and patients in group O required analgesics significantly later and less doses in the first 24 hours after RFA. The occurrence of unwanted body movements was significantly lower in group O. We found no complications including allergic reaction, excessive sedation, and chest wall rigidity in all patients. The patient satisfaction score was significantly higher in group O than that in group R.


          Ultrasound-guided percutaneous RFA for hepatic cancer can be completed both with continuous infusion of remifentanil or a single intravenous injection of oxycodone. However, oxycodone hydrochloride provides better patient experience with higher satisfactory score and less unwanted body movements, relieves post-procedural pain better, and is not associated with an increase in adverse effects.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Practice guidelines for sedation and analgesia by non-anesthesiologists.

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            A comparative study of oxycodone and morphine in a multi-modal, tissue-differentiated experimental pain model.

            Visceral pain can be difficult to treat with classical mu-opioid agonists and it has been suggested to use opioids with distinct pharmacological profiles. In animal experiments, oxycodone has shown different effects compared to morphine, and clinical observations have shown that oxycodone may occasionally be superior to, e.g., morphine in the treatment of visceral pain. In the current study, we randomised 24 healthy subjects to treatment with either morphine (30 mg), oxycodone (15 mg) or placebo in a crossover study. The experimental pain model involved multi-modal (mechanical, thermal and electrical) pain tests in the skin, muscles and viscera. The pain tests were carried out at baseline and 30, 60 and 90 min after oral administration of the drugs. The model showed effect of the two opioids compared to placebo on all stimulus modalities in all three types of tissues (all P values <0.001). Both opioids attenuated the sensory response mainly to painful stimulations. Morphine and oxycodone were equipotent in pain modulation of the skin and muscles, but oxycodone had superior analgesic effect to both morphine and placebo on the mechanical (P<0.001) and thermal (P<0.001) stimulations of the oesophagus. In conclusion, the multi-modal and tissue-differentiated pain model could link findings from animal experiments to clinical findings. A different pharmacological profile of oxycodone compared to that of morphine was shown, and thus oxycodone may be a useful alternative to morphine in the treatment of visceral pain syndromes.
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              Opioids and the gut: pharmacology and current clinical experience.

              This article reviews the pharmacology and physiology of opiate receptors and the current and potential uses of opioid agonists and antagonists in clinical gastroenterology. Mu-receptors are involved in motor and sensory functions, and their modulation is established for treatment of diarrhea. Mu-antagonists have potential to reverse endogenous (e.g., postoperative ileus) or iatrogenic dysmotility (e.g., opioid bowel dysfunction). Modulation of the function of kappa-receptors may be a novel approach to control visceral pain in functional gut disorders. Results of formal testing of novel opioid modulators are keenly awaited.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                18 January 2019
                : 13
                : 365-372
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, xiaofei_cao@ 123456sina.com
                [2 ]Department of Anesthesiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Xiaofei Cao, Department of Anesthesiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province 210029, China, Tel +86 135 8400 2389, Email xiaofei_cao@ 123456sina.com

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2019 Wu 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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