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Effect of remifentanil on post-operative analgesic consumption in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty after interscalene brachial plexus block: a randomized controlled trial

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Kim, Youngwon; Bae, Hansu; Yoo, Seokha; Park, Sun-Kyung; Lim, Young-Jin; Sakura, Shinichi; Kim, Jin-Tae

Issue Date
Springer Verlag
Journal of Anesthesia, Vol.36 No.4, pp.506-513
Purpose Remifentanil is useful in balanced anesthesia; however, there is concern regarding opioid-induced hyperalgesia. The effect of remifentanil on rebound pain, characterized by hyperalgesia after peripheral nerve block has rarely been studied. This study evaluated whether intraoperative remifentanil infusion may increase postoperative analgesic requirement in patients receiving preoperative interscalene brachial plexus block (IBP). Methods Sixty-eight patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery under general anesthesia were randomly allocated to remifentanil (R) or control (C) group. Preoperative IBP with 0.5% ropivacaine 15 mL was performed in all patients. Intraoperative remifentanil was administered only in the R group. Postoperative pain was controlled using intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV-PCA) and rescue analgesics. The primary outcome was the dosage of fentanyl-nefopam IV-PCA infused over 24 h postoperatively. The secondary outcomes included the numeric rating scale (NRS) score recorded at 4-h intervals over 24 h, amount of rescue analgesics and total postoperative analgesics used over 24 h, occurrence of intraoperative hypotension, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) and delirium. Results The dosage of fentanyl-nefopam IV-PCA was significantly less in C group than R group for postoperative 24 h. Fentanyl 101 [63-158] (median [interquartile range]) mu g was used in the C group, while fentanyl 161 [103-285] mu g was used in the R group (median difference 64 mu g, 95% CI 10-121 mu g, P = 0.02). Nefopam 8.1 [5.0-12.6] mg was used in the C group, while nefopam 12.9 [8.2-22.8] mg was used in the R group (median difference 5.1 mg, 95% CI 0.8-9.7 mg, P = 0.02). The total analgesic consumption: the sum of PCA consumption and administered rescue analgesic dose, converted to morphine milligram equivalents, was higher in the R group than C group (median difference 10.9 mg, 95% CI 3.0-19.0 mg, P = 0.01). The average NRS score, the incidence of PONV and delirium, were similar in both groups. The incidence of intraoperative hypotension was higher in R group than C group (47.1% vs. 20.6%, P = 0.005). Conclusions Remifentanil administration during arthroscopic shoulder surgery in patients undergoing preoperative IBP increased postoperative analgesic consumption.
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