A comparative study of the effect of caudal dexmedetomidine versus morphine added to bupivacaine in pediatric infra-umbilical surgery

Hossam A El Shamaa, Mohamed Ibrahim
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia 2014, 8 (2): 155-60

BACKGROUND: One of the most commonly used regional anesthetic techniques in pediatric surgeries is the caudal epidural block. Its main disadvantage remains the short duration of action. Hence, different additives have been used. Dexmedetomidine is a potent as well as highly selective α2 adrenergic receptor agonist. The aim of this randomized, double-blinded, study was to compare the duration of postoperative analgesia of caudal dexmedetomidine versus morphine in combination with bupivacaine in pediatric patients undergoing lower abdominal or perineal surgery.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 50 pediatric patients 1-5 years old The American Society of Anesthesiologists status I, II scheduled for lower abdominal and perineal surgeries were included in the study. The patients were enrolled into 2 equal groups: Group A patients (n = 25) received dexmedetomidine with bupivacaine while Group B patients (n = 25) received morphine with bupivacaine. Patients were placed in a supine position then inhalational general anesthesia was induced, and laryngeal mask airway (LMA) was placed. Patients were then given caudal epidural analgesia. By the end of surgery reversal of muscle relaxation was done and the LMA was removed. Post-operatively, the sedation as well as pain score were observed and recorded.

RESULTS: The current study showed that minor complications were recorded in the post-anesthesia care unit; in addition, significantly longer periods of analgesia and sedation were detected in Group A. However, no significant differences in demographic data, as well as in the duration of surgery, and the time of emergence from anesthesia and patient condition during recovery were detected.

CONCLUSION: The present study suggested that use of dexmedetomidine, during single dose injection, as an additive to the local anesthetic bupivacaine in caudal epidural analgesia prolongs the duration of post-operative analgesia following lower abdominal as well as perineal surgery compared with caudal morphine with no side-effects on the vital signs. Postoperative side effects were seen with caudal morphine injection rather than with dexmedetomidine.

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