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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
Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2005 October;71(10):595-9

language: English, Italian

High epidural thoracic anesthesia for pericardial surgery

De Bellis P. 1, Delfino R. 1, Robbiano F. 1, Martinelli L. 2

1 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care San Martino Hospital, Genoa, Italy
2 Department of Cardiac Surgery San Martino Hospital, Genoa, Italy


Here are reported three cases involving patients (77, 61 and 58 years-old) with recurrent pericardial effusion who underwent pleuropericardial window using thoracic epidural anesthesia (T1-T2 o T2-T3) while fully awake, without endotracheal intubation. The operative and postoperative courses were uneventful. During the pneumothoracic phase the vital parameters and spontaneous ventilation patterns remained the same compared to the basic ones. Pain control was excellent. On the basis of this early experience the authors conclude that thoracotomy in awake patients to reach the cardiac structures is a reproducible technique.

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