Prevention of hypotension after spinal anesthesia for cesarean section: six percent hetastarch versus lactated Ringer's solution

E T Riley, S E Cohen, A J Rubenstein, B Flanagan
Anesthesia and Analgesia 1995, 81 (4): 838-42
This study was designed to determine whether preoperative administration of 6% hetastarch decreases the incidence and severity of hypotension after spinal anesthesia for cesarean section. Forty nonlaboring ASA class I and II women having nonurgent cesarean sections were randomized to receive either 500 mL of 6% hetastarch plus 1 L lactated Ringer's solution (LR) (n = 20), or 2 L of LR (n = 20) prior to induction of spinal anesthesia. Hypotension occurred in 45% of patients who received hetastarch vs 85% of those who received only LR (P < 0.05), and minimum systolic blood pressure was lower in the LR group than in the hetastarch group (85 +/- 12 vs 93 +/- 12 mm Hg [mean +/- SD]; P < 0.05). In addition, the LR group had a higher maximum heart rate (115 +/- 17 vs 104 +/- 16 bpm), a shorter mean time to hypotension (7 +/- 4 vs 10 +/- 7 min), and required more 5-mg doses of ephedrine for treatment of hypotension (0 vs 2 [median]; P < 0.05) than the hetastarch group. Neonatal outcome, as determined by Apgar scores and cord blood gas analyses, was good and similar in both groups. We conclude that 6% hetastarch plus LR is more effective than LR alone and that its routine use before spinal anesthesia for cesarean section should be considered.

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