Clinical research
Patient-controlled epidural analgesia after Caesarean section: levobupivacaine 0.15% versus ropivacaine 0.15% alone or combined with fentanyl 2 µg/ml: a comparative study
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Submission date: 2010-09-17
Final revision date: 2010-11-11
Acceptance date: 2010-12-14
Online publication date: 2011-09-02
Publication date: 2011-08-30
Arch Med Sci 2011;7(4):685–693
Introduction : The aim of this study was to compare the postoperative analgesic efficacy of epidural ropivacaine 0.15%, levobupivacaine 0.15% and ropivacaine 0.15% plus fentanyl 2 µg/ml, used with a patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) device after Caesarean section.
Material and methods : Sixty women undergoing elective Caesarean section under combined spinal-epidural anaesthesia were enrolled. Postoperatively, patients received PCEA with either ropivacaine or levobupivacaine 0.15% (basal rate 6 ml/h, bolus 5 ml/20 min), or ropivacaine 0.15% plus fentanyl 2 µg/ml (basal rate 6 ml/h, bolus 4 ml/20 min). Sympathetic and sensory level of analgesia, motor ability (Bromage 0-3), and pain scores at rest, movement and cough (VAS 0-10), haemodynamic parameters, oxygenation, side effects and total doses of local anaesthetic were documented every 6 h for 24 h. Patient satisfaction was assessed using a descriptive scale.
Results : No significant difference was observed in pain scores at all time intervals. A significantly higher sympathetic and sensory blockade occurred with levobupivacaine and ropivacaine 0.15% compared to ropivacaine 0.15% plus fentanyl, with no significant difference in total local analgesic consumption at 24 h (p = 0.08). Rescue analgesic requirements did not differ between the groups (p = 0.8) while patients’ satisfaction was significantly higher in the ropivacaine 0.15% plus fentanyl group (p = 0.02). Haemodynamics, oxygenation, nausea, pruritus and numbness did not differ between the groups.
Conclusions : Dilute local anaesthetic solutions provided satisfactory postoperative analgesia after Caesarean section when used with a PCEA device. The combination of ropivacaine 0.15% with fentanyl 2 µg/ml appeared superior, since it provided higher patient satisfaction with statistically equal pain scores and local anaesthetic consumption.