Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
The efficacy of thoracic epidural sufentanil 50 μg was compared with bupivacaine 0.5% with adrenaline 5 μg.ml-1 (dose 40 mg) or saline, in 30 patients (n = 10 in each group) undergoing lateral thoracotomy. Sufentanil, bupivacaine or saline was administered epidurally after induction of anaesthesia with sufentanil 1 μg.kg-1 and thiopentone 2–5 mg.kg-1. Anaesthesia was maintained with nitrous oxide 66% and halothane 0.3%. Supplementary sufentanil 25 μg was given whenever the systolic arterial blood pressure increased more than 15 mmHg above the pre-operative value, whenever heart rate exceeded 90 beat. Min-1 in the absence of hypovolaemia, or when other autonomic or somatic signs occurred. Fewer patients in the epidural sufentanil (n = 4, p 〈 0.005) and bupivacaine (n = 1, p 〈 0.001) groups required supplementary sufentanil compared to the placebo group, in which all patients needed supplementary sufentanil, but there was no statistical difference between the sufentanil and bupivacaine groups. One or more hypotensive episodes occurred in five patients in the sufentanil group, in all patients in the bupivacaine group and in no patient in the placebo group, and the differences were significant (p 〈 0.02).
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