A comparative study in the post-operative spine surgeries: Epidural ropivacaine with dexmedetomidine and ropivacaine with clonidine for post-operative analgesia

Ms Saravana Babu, Anil Kumar Verma, Apurva Agarwal, Chitra Ms Tyagi, Manoj Upadhyay, Shivshenkar Tripathi
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia 2013, 57 (4): 371-6

BACKGROUND: Anaesthesia for spine surgeries is not only concerned with relieving pain during surgeries but also during the post-operative period. A prospective randomised study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of epidural route and to compare the efficacy and clinical profile of dexmedetomidine and clonidine as an adjuvant to ropivacaine, in epidural analgesia with special emphasis on their quality of analgesia and the ability to provide the smooth post-operative course.

METHODS: A total of 60 subjects, 33 were men and 27 were women between the age of 18 and 65 years of American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) I/II class who underwent spine surgeries were randomly allocated into two groups, ropivacaine + dexmedetomidine (RD) and ropivacaine + clonidine (RC), comprising 30 patients each. Group RD received 20 ml of 0.2% ropivacaine and 1 μg/kg of dexmedetomidine while group RC received 20 ml of 0.2% ropivacaine and 2 μg/kg of clonidine through the epidural catheter. Onset of analgesia, time of peak effect, duration of analgesia, cardiorespiratory parameters, side-effects and need of rescue intravenous (IV) analgesics were observed.

RESULTS: The demographic profile and ASA class were comparable between the groups. None of the patients needed rescue analgesics in either group. Group RD had early onset, early peak effect, prolonged duration and stable cardiorespiratory parameters when compared with group RC. The side-effects profile was also comparable with a little higher incidence of nausea and dry mouth in both groups.

CONCLUSION: Epidural route provided acceptable analgesia in spine surgeries and avoided the need of IV analgesics in either group. Dexmedetomidine is a better neuraxial adjuvant compared with clonidine for providing early onset and prolonged post-operative analgesia and stable cardiorespiratory parameters.

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