• Anaesthesia · Jun 2012

    Randomized Controlled Trial

    Combined spinal epidural vs epidural labour analgesia: does initial intrathecal analgesia reduce the subsequent minimum local analgesic concentration of epidural bupivacaine?

    • N P Patel, S L Armstrong, R Fernando, M O Columb, J K Bray, V Sodhi, and G R Lyons.
    • Research Fellow in Obstetric Anaesthesia, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK.
    • Anaesthesia. 2012 Jun 1;67(6):584-93.

    AbstractLabour analgesia initiated using a combined spinal-epidural (CSE) technique may reduce subsequent epidural bupivacaine requirements compared with an epidural-only technique. We compared the minimum local analgesic concentrations (MLAC) of epidural bupivacaine following initial intrathecal or epidural injection. In a prospective, double-blind study, 115 women requesting epidural analgesia were randomly assigned to receive either an epidural with bupivacaine 20 mg and fentanyl 40 μg or a CSE with intrathecal bupivacaine 2.5 mg and fentanyl 5 μg. Analgesia was assessed using a visual analogue pain score. When further analgesia was requested, bupivacaine 20 ml was given, and the concentration was determined using the technique of up-down sequential allocation. The MLAC of bupivacaine in the epidural group was 0.032% wt/vol (95% CI 0.020-0.044) compared with 0.047% wt/vol (95% CI 0.042-0.052) in the CSE group. Bupivacaine requirements for the second injection were increased following intrathecal analgesia by a factor of 1.45 (p = 0.026) compared with epidural analgesia.Anaesthesia © 2012 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

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