Low-dose ropivacaine-sufentanil spinal anaesthesia for caesarean delivery: a randomised trial

X W Qian, X Z Chen, D B Li
International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia 2008, 17 (4): 309-14

BACKGROUND: It is well known that intrathecal opioids have a synergic effect with spinal local anaesthetics. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether low-dose ropivacaine in combination with sufentanil could produce effective spinal anaesthesia with less maternal hypotension and vomiting than ropivacaine alone.

METHODS: 80 ASA I and II parturients undergoing elective caesarean delivery under combined spinal-epidural anaesthesia were randomly allocated to two groups. Group R15 received intrathecal hyperbaric ropivacaine 15 mg and group SR10 hyperbaric ropivacaine 10 mg with sufentanil 5 micrograms. Characteristics, efficacy and side effects of spinal anaesthesia in each group were measured.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the quality of intraoperative analgesia and muscle relaxation between groups. The incidence of hypotension was significantly higher (55% vs. 20%, P < 0.005) and the need for ephedrine less in group R15 than in group SR10. In group SR10, the onset of motor block was delayed (2.9 +/- 1.1 vs. 4.6 +/- 2.5 min, P < 0.005), the duration was shorter (65.9 +/- 15.1 vs. 125.4 +/- 26.4 min, P < 0.005). The duration of effective analgesia was longer (260 +/- 32.5 vs. 143 +/- 22.1 min, P < 0.005), the incidence of shivering (20% vs. 60%, P < 0.005) and vomiting (5% vs. 30%, P < 0.005) were lower in group SR10.

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of hyperbaric ropivacaine 10 mg with sufentanil 5 lg produced effective spinal anaesthesia for caesarean delivery with significantly less hypotension, vomiting and shivering, shorter duration of motor blockade and longer lasting analgesia than hyperbaric ropivacaine 15 mg.

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