COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Effect of i.v. ketamine in combination with epidural bupivacaine or epidural morphine on postoperative pain and wound tenderness after renal surgery

S Ilkjaer, L Nikolajsen, T M Hansen, M Wernberg, J Brennum, J B Dahl
British Journal of Anaesthesia 1998, 81 (5): 707-12
10193280
We studied 60 patients undergoing operation on the kidney with combined general and epidural anaesthesia, in a double-blind, randomized, controlled study. Patients were allocated to receive a preoperative bolus dose of ketamine 10 mg i.v., followed by an i.v. infusion of ketamine 10 mg h-1 for 48 h after operation, or placebo. During the first 24 h after surgery, all patients received 4 ml h-1 of epidural bupivacaine 2.5 mg ml-1. From 24 to 48 h after operation, patients received epidural morphine 0.2 mg h-1 preceded by a bolus dose of 2 mg. In addition, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with i.v. morphine (2.5 mg, lockout time 15 min) was offered from 0 to 48 h after operation. Patients who received ketamine felt significantly more sedated at 0-24 h, but not at 24-48 h after operation, compared with patients who received placebo (P = 0.002 and P = 0.127, respectively). There were no significant differences in pain (VAS) at rest, during mobilization or cough, PCA morphine consumption, sensory block to pinprick, pressure pain detection threshold assessed with an algometer, touch and pain detection thresholds assessed with von Frey hairs, peak flow or side effects other than sedation. The power of detecting a reduction in VAS scores of 20 mm in our study was 80% at the 5% significance level. We conclude that we were unable to demonstrate an (additive) analgesic or opioid sparing effect of ketamine 10 mg h-1 i.v. combined with epidural bupivacaine at 0-24 h, or epidural morphine at 24-48 h after renal surgery.

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