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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2021 Oct 14

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.21.05402-3


language: English

Should intravenous acetaminophen be considered for post craniotomy pain management? A Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Mahmoud A. EBADA 1, Ahmed S. ALI 2, Abdelrahman ELSHAKANKIRY 3, Tarek ESSA 4, Ahmad KHATER 5, Mohamed HOSSAM 1, Hieder AL-SHAMI 6, Eshak I. BAHBAH 7, Hazem S. GHAITH 8, Ulrick S. KANMOUNYE 9, Ahmed NEGIDA 1, 9, 10, 11

1 Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, El-Sharkia, Egypt; 2 Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt; 3 Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 4 Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; 5 Faculty of Oral and Dental Medicine, Ahram Canadian University, Cairo, Egypt; 6 Neurosurgery Department, Al-Ahly Bank Hospital, Cairo, Egypt; 7 Faculty of Medicine, Al Azhar University, New Damietta, Egypt; 8 Faculty of Medicine, Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt; 9 Research Department, Association of Future African Neurosurgeons, Yaounde, Cameroon; 10 School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK; 11 Program of Global Surgery and Social Change, Harvard Medical School, Harvard, MA, USA


INTRODUCTION: Post craniotomy pain management with opioids is challenging due to their side effects, which might mask neurological deterioration symptoms. Recently, intravenous (IV) acetaminophen has been tested in this population. This meta-analysis aimed to synthesize evidence from published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) about the efficacy of IV acetaminophen in reducing pain scores in postoperative craniotomy patients.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A computer literature search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) was conducted. We selected RCTs comparing IV acetaminophen versus placebo for postoperative pain management in craniotomy patients. Data on the visual analog scale (VAS), opioid requirements, hospital stay, and patients’ satisfaction weexretr acted and pooled as standardized mean difference (SMD) with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) in the meta-analysis model.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Five RCTs, with a total of 493 patients, were pooled in the final analysis. Patients in the IV acetaminophen group had significantly lower VAS pain scores compared to the placebo group (SMD -0.28, 95% CI [-0.46 to -0.10]). However, in terms of opioid requirement, hospital stay, and patients' satisfaction, there were no statistically significant differences between both groups (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis provides class one evidence that IV Acetaminophen can significantly reduce postoperative pain in craniotomy patients with an excellent safety profile; however, there are not benefits in terms of hospital stay, opioid requirement, or patients’ satisfaction.

KEY WORDS: Craniotomy; Neurosurgery; Acetaminophen; Pain management

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