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ORIGINAL ARTICLE   Free accessfree

Minerva Anestesiologica 2019 October;85(10):1097-104

DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.19.13470-0


language: English

Is breakthrough pain better managed by adding programmed intermittent epidural bolus to a background infusion during labor epidural analgesia? A randomized controlled trial

Luis D. DIEZ-PICAZO , Emilia GUASCH, Nicolas BROGLY, Fernando GILSANZ

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Treatment, La Paz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain

BACKGROUND: Breakthrough pain (BTP) is a common problem during labor analgesia. Programmed intermittent epidural bolus (PIEB) has demonstrated superior to background epidural infusion (BEI) concerning BTP, but the effect of combining both modes remains unknown. We hypothesized that this combination could reduce BTP incidence.
METHODS: Nulliparous parturients with early cervical dilation were randomized to receive 5 mL/h BEI of levobupivacaine 0.125% plus fentanyl 1.45 µg/mL (standard group) or 5 mL/h BEI + 10 mL/h PIEB (PIEB group). In case of BTP, patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) boluses of 10 mL (20-min lockout interval) were administered. If PCEA was insufficient, a 10-mL clinician bolus was delivered. The primary endpoint was the percentage of parturients who required supplementary epidural boluses.
RESULTS: One hundred and twenty women were recruited. Eighty-nine percent of parturients required supplementary boluses in standard group versus 30% in PIEB group (RR=3.07; 95% CI: 1.99-4.76; P<0.001). Adding PIEB prevented BTP in 70% of cases. Duration of effective analgesia was longer in PIEB than in standard group (P=0.003). Supplementary boluses were decreased (P<0.001), while local anesthetic consumption increased (P<0.001) by PIEB addition. Sensory-motor block, mode of delivery, maternal satisfaction and neonatal outcomes were equally distributed in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Adding PIEB to BEI+PCEA improved labor analgesia by significantly reducing the needs of rescue analgesia and prolonging the duration of effective analgesia. This combination provoked a higher consumption of local anesthetic with no detected clinical consequences.

KEY WORDS: Epidural analgesia; Breakthrough pain; Labor pain

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