The addition of intrathecal sufentanil and fentanyl to bupivacaine for caesarean section

S K Ngiam, J L Chong
Singapore Medical Journal 1998, 39 (7): 290-4

AIM OF STUDY: Intrathecal sufentanil has recently been used in labour as part of a combined spinal epidural technique. This study was conducted to compare its use in combination with bupivacaine for caesarean section with fentanyl added to bupivacaine and bupivacaine alone.

METHODS: Sixty ASA I and II patients for non-emergency caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia were divided into three groups to receive 15 micrograms fentanyl added to 7.5 mg bupivacaine, 10 micrograms sufentanil added to 7.5 mg bupivacaine and 7.5 mg bupivacaine. Onset time of sensory blockade, side effects, surgical conditions, neonatal outcome and quality of the anaesthetic was assessed. On the first postoperative day, duration of effective analgesia, side effects and patient satisfaction were noted.

RESULTS: The duration of effective analgesia of bupivacaine alone was prolonged with the addition of sufentanil and fentanyl by 358% and 256% respectively. No patient in the sufentanil and fentanyl groups required additional intra-operative analgesics compared with 17.6% of patients in the bupivacaine alone group. There was an increase in incidence of desaturation in the sufentanil group (45%) and fentanyl group (5.6%) compared with the bupivacaine only group (0%). The incidence of pruritus was 35% with sufentanil, 27.8% with fentanyl against 0% with bupivacaine alone.

CONCLUSION: The addition of 10 micrograms of sufentanil and 15 micrograms of fentanyl to 7.5 mg of bupivacaine prolonged the duration of effective analgesia and improved intra-operative analgesia. However, the incidence of pruritus and episodes of desaturation were increased more with 10 micrograms sufentanil than with 15 micrograms fentanyl.

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