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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Della Rocca G., Coccia C., Pompei L., Costa M. G., Pierconti F., Di Marco P., Tommaselli E., Pietropaoli P.
Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation, Umberto I Polyclinic Hospital, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
Background. We compared thoracic morphine epidural analgesia (TEA) and I.V. analgesia (IVA) with morphine, in respect to the time to extubation, the quality of postoperative analgesia, side effects, complications, postoperative hospital length of stay in patients having thoracotomy lung resection.
Methods. We prospectively studied 563 consecutive patients, undergoing thoracotomy (lobectomy, bilobectomy or pneumonectomy), randomized in two groups: TEA 286 patients and IVA 277 patients. In the epidural group, before the induction of anesthesia, continuous infusion of 15 mg of morphine in 250 mL of normal saline at 5 mL/h was started. In the IVA group a continuous infusion of 30 mg of morphine associated with 180 mg ketorolac in 250 mL of normal saline at 5 mL/h was started before the induction of anesthesia. The pain degree was evaluated on an analogic scale by Keele modified at 1 (end of anesthesia) 6, 12, 24, and 48 postoperative hours, at rest and after movements. Data obtained were analysed by means of the analysis of variance for repeated measures.
Results. The time from the end of surgery to tracheal extubation was similar in both groups. Significantly lower numeric verbal pain scores at rest and after movements were found in the epidural group (p<0.001). Postop complications, nausea and vomiting were higher in the IVA group (p<0.05). Postoperative mean hospital length of stay was 9±4 days in TEA and 11±4 in the IVA group (p<0.05).
Conclusions. In our study the epidural root was superior in terms of analgesia, side effects, length of stay and postoperative complications after thoracotomy.
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