Epidural ropivacaine 1% with and without sufentanil addition for Caesarean section

B Bachmann-Mennenga, G Veit, J Biscoping, B Steinicke, M Heesen
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 2005, 49 (4): 525-31

BACKGROUND: So far only ropivacaine concentrations of 0.5 and 0.75% have been used for Caesarean section. This prospective double-blind trial evaluated the anaesthetic quality of ropivacaine 1% with and without sufentanil addition.

METHODS: Three groups of patients (n=20 each) scheduled for an elective Caesarean section were studied. The patients received initially 120 mg ropivacaine, or 120 mg ropivacaine plus 10 microg or 20 microg sufentanil. Additional epidural ropivacaine was injected if necessary. Primary outcome parameter was time to achieve sensory block at T4. Moreover, pain intensity at delivery (visual analogue scale, VAS), incidence of maternal side-effects (hypotension, bradycardia, nausea, vomiting, shivering, pruritus), and neonatal outcome (Apgar score, neurologic and adaptive capacity score, umbilical cord blood-gas values) were recorded.

RESULTS: The onset time for the sensory block was not significantly different among the groups. Also, VAS scores at delivery did not differ significantly between the plain ropivacaine 1% group (18 +/- 29 mm), the 10-microg sufentanil group (1 +/- 5 mm), and the 20-microg sufentanil group (6 +/- 18 mm). The total dose of ropivacaine was significantly higher in the plain ropivacaine 1% group (145 +/- 19 mg) compared to the patients receiving additional 10 microg sufentanil (130 +/- 15 mg, P = 0.02) or 20 microg sufentanil (129 +/- 16 mg, P = 0.01). The incidence of maternal side-effects and neonatal outcome were similar in all groups.

CONCLUSION: Ropivacaine 1% alone provided sufficient analgesia. Sufentanil addition did not significantly improve the quality of epidural anaesthesia with ropivacaine 1.0% for Caesarean section.

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