JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Combination of low doses of intrathecal ketamine and midazolam with bupivacaine improves postoperative analgesia in orthopaedic surgery

T Murali Krishna, N B Panda, Y K Batra, S Rajeev
European Journal of Anaesthesiology 2008, 25 (4): 299-306
17892610

BACKGROUND: Intrathecal ketamine produces a short period of analgesia with stable haemodynamics. Midazolam with bupivacaine prolongs the duration of analgesia when administered intrathecally but does not prevent hypotension. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of a combination of intrathecal bupivacaine, ketamine and midazolam on the duration of analgesia and haemodynamic parameters.

METHODS: A prospective, randomized, double-blind study was carried out in 60 ASA I and II patients undergoing lower limb surgery under spinal anaesthesia. Patients were divided into three groups of 20 each. Patients in all the three groups received 3 mL of hyperbaric bupivacaine (0.5%) intrathecally. In addition, patients in Groups II and III received intrathecal ketamine (0.1 mg kg-1) and the same dose of ketamine along with midazolam (0.02 mg kg-1), respectively. All patients were evaluated for block characteristics, duration of pain-free period, total rescue analgesic requirement in the 24-h postoperative period, total dose of mephenteramine to treat hypotension and any central or neurological complication.

RESULTS: No patients in Group II required mephenteramine while 40% of patients in Group I and 10% in Group III required mephenteramine to maintain blood pressure after spinal anaesthesia. The mean +/- standard deviation duration of pain-free period was 331.5 +/- 89.9, 369.7 +/- 124.2 and 730.5 +/- 81.5 min in Group I, II and III, respectively. The pain-free interval was significantly greater in Group III compared to Groups I and II (P < 0.001). No patient had any complications.

CONCLUSION: A low dose of midazolam and ketamine with bupivacaine intrathecally results in prolonged analgesia and less haemodynamic fluctuations. However, the safety of this combination needs to be proved before its use in clinical practice.

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