Intravenous lidocaine to prevent postoperative airway complications in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Stephen S Yang, Ning-Nan Wang, Tatyana Postonogova, Grace J Yang, Michael McGillion, Francois Beique, Thomas Schricker
British Journal of Anaesthesia 2020, 124 (3): 314-323

BACKGROUND: In surgical patients undergoing general anaesthesia, coughing at the time of extubation is common and can result in potentially dangerous complications. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the efficacy and safety of i.v. lidocaine administration during the perioperative period to prevent cough and other airway complications.

METHODS: We searched Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System, Excerpta Medica database, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for RCTs comparing the perioperative use of i.v. lidocaine with a control group in adult patients undergoing surgery under general anaesthesia. The RCTs were assessed using risk-of-bias assessment, and the quality of evidence was assessed using Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE).

RESULTS: In 16 trials (n=1516), the administration of i.v. lidocaine compared with placebo or no treatment led to large reductions in post-extubation cough (risk ratio [RR]: 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.48-0.86) and in postoperative sore throat at 1 h (RR: 0.46; 95% CI: 0.32-0.67). There was no difference in incidence of laryngospasm (risk difference [RD]: 0.02; 95% CI: -0.07 to 0.03) or incidence of adverse events related to the use of lidocaine.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of i.v. lidocaine perioperatively decreased airway complications, including coughing and sore throat. There was no associated increased risk of harm.

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