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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 2007 July-August;73(7-8):387-93

language: English

Anxiolysis and postoperative pain in patients undergoing spinal anesthesia for abdominal hysterectomy

Ciccozzi A. 1, Marinangeli F. 1, Colangeli A. 2, Di Stefano L. 3, Antonucci S. 1, Pilerci G. 1, Varrassi G. 1

1 Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy;
2 Department of Pneumology, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy;
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy


Aim. The relationship between pain and psychological factors is well known. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of lorazepam, given before total abdominal hysterectomy, on postoperative pain control.
Methods. Sixty patients, enrolled in the study, were defined as either anxious or not anxious when the State/Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) score was ≥51 or ≤ 50, respectively. The anxious patients were randomly assigned to receive oral lorazepam 0.035 mg/kg the night and 2 h before surgery (Group A), or placebo at the same time (Group B). The not anxious patients were assigned to receive oral lorazepam 0.035 mg/kg the night and 2 h before surgery (Group C), or placebo at the same time (Group D). Anesthesia was performed with subarachnoidal block. Ketorolac was used for postoperative pain. As rescue drug, tramadol was administered using a patient controlled analgesia (PCA) modality. Postoperative pain was assessed during the 24 h after surgery by tramadol consumption.
Results. Tramadol consumption was significantly greater in Group B (216.3±58.9 mg) than in Groups A, C and D respectively (150.9±28.9 mg; 153.6±39.9 mg; 154.4±39.9 mg). Group B showed a significantly higher pain score compared to the other groups during the first 8 h. No difference in patient satisfaction with perioperative treatment was noted.
Conclusion. Preoperative lorazepam reduced perioperative anxiety. This could explain the better postoperative pain control in patients undergoing hysterectomy, a very stressful surgical procedure.

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