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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2003 December;69(12):873-84

language: English, Italian

Combined general and epidural anesthesia with ropivacaine for renal transplantation

Dauri M. 1, Costa F. 2, Servetti S. 1, Sidiropoulou T. 1, Fabbi E. 1, Sabato A. F. 1

1 Unit of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care “Tor Vergata” University, Rome, Italy
2 Free University Biomedical Campus, Rome, Italy


Aim. To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of epidural ropivacaine anesthesia in association with light general anesthesia during renal transplantation and compare epidural and endovenous analgesia techniques for postoperative pain control.
Methods. Experimental design: prospective randomized study. Setting: Organ Transplanta-tion Center, Department of Surgery, “Tor Ver-gata” University of Rome, St. Eugenio Hospital, Rome. Patients: 25 patients affected by chronic renal failure were enrolled in this study. Thirteen constituted the combined epidural-general anesthesia group (EPI-GEN), mean age 40.15±9.81 years; while the others constituted the general anesthesia group (GEN), mean age 46.75±7.45 years. Operation: cadaveric renal transplantation. Group EPI-GEN: epidural anesthesia performed with 12-15 ml of a ropivacaine 0.75% and fentanyl 5 mg/ml solution followed by light intravenous or inhalatory general anesthesia and postoperative epidural analgesia with ropivacaine 0.2% and fentanyl 2 mg/ml. Group GEN: inhalatory or intravenous general anesthesia and intravenous tramadol postoperative analgesia. Measurements: hemo-dynamics, renal function, arterial blood gases analysis, acid-base balance and postoperative pain data was collected and examined.
Results. Postoperative epidural analgesia resulted significantly more effective than intravenous tramadol. PaO2/FiO2 ratio was significantly higher in group EPI-GEN patients both on awakening and throughout postoperative observation. Hemodynamics and renal function did not appear to differ significantly.
Conclusion. Combined epidural-general anesthesia is as valid a technique as any for renal transplantation; however postoperative epidural ropivacaine analgesia resulted more effective than intravenous tramadol. Respiratory function appeared less affected, facilitating a fast and uncomplicated postoperative recovery.

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