Low pressure versus standard pressure pneumoperitoneum in laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Kurinchi Selvan Gurusamy, Jessica Vaughan, Brian R Davidson
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014 March 18, (3): CD006930

BACKGROUND: A pneumoperitoneum of 12 to 16 mm Hg is used for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Lower pressures are claimed to be safe and effective in decreasing cardiopulmonary complications and pain.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the benefits and harms of low pressure pneumoperitoneum compared with standard pressure pneumoperitoneum in people undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index Expanded until February 2013 to identify randomised trials,using search strategies.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We considered only randomised clinical trials, irrespective of language, blinding, or publication status for inclusion in the review.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently identified trials and independently extracted data. We calculated the risk ratio (RR), mean difference (MD), or standardised mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using both fixed-effect and random-effects models with RevMan 5 based on available case analysis.

MAIN RESULTS: A total of 1092 participants randomly assigned to the low pressure group (509 participants) and the standard pressure group (583 participants) in 21 trials provided information for this review on one or more outcomes. Three additional trials comparing low pressure pneumoperitoneum with standard pressure pneumoperitoneum (including 179 participants) provided no information for this review. Most of the trials included low anaesthetic risk participants undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. One trial including 140 participants was at low risk of bias. The remaining 20 trials were at high risk of bias. The overall quality of evidence was low or very low. No mortality was reported in either the low pressure group (0/199; 0%) or the standard pressure group (0/235; 0%) in eight trials that reported mortality. One participant experienced the outcome of serious adverse events (low pressure group 1/179, 0.6%; standard pressure group 0/215, 0%; seven trials; 394 participants; RR 3.00; 95% CI 0.14 to 65.90; very low quality evidence). Quality of life, return to normal activity, and return to work were not reported in any of the trials. The difference between groups in the conversion to open cholecystectomy was imprecise (low pressure group 2/269, adjusted proportion 0.8%; standard pressure group 2/287, 0.7%; 10 trials; 556 participants; RR 1.18; 95% CI 0.29 to 4.72; very low quality evidence) and was compatible with an increase, a decrease, or no difference in the proportion of conversion to open cholecystectomy due to low pressure pneumoperitoneum. No difference in the length of hospital stay was reported between the groups (five trials; 415 participants; MD -0.30 days; 95% CI -0.63 to 0.02; low quality evidence). Operating time was about two minutes longer in the low pressure group than in the standard pressure group (19 trials; 990 participants; MD 1.51 minutes; 95% CI 0.07 to 2.94; very low quality evidence).

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be completed successfully using low pressure in approximately 90% of people undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. However, no evidence is currently available to support the use of low pressure pneumoperitoneum in low anaesthetic risk patients undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The safety of low pressure pneumoperitoneum has to be established. Further well-designed trials are necessary, particularly in people with cardiopulmonary disorders who undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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