• Anesthesia and analgesia · Oct 2011

    Randomized Controlled Trial Comparative Study

    Programmed intermittent epidural bolus versus continuous epidural infusion for labor analgesia: the effects on maternal motor function and labor outcome. A randomized double-blind study in nulliparous women.

    • Giorgio Capogna, Michela Camorcia, Silvia Stirparo, and Alessio Farcomeni.
    • Department of Anesthesia, Città di Roma Hospital, Via Maidalchini 20, 00151 Roma, Italy. dipartimento.anestesia@gruppogarofalo.com
    • Anesth. Analg.. 2011 Oct 1;113(4):826-31.

    BackgroundProgrammed intermittent epidural anesthetic bolus (PIEB) technique may result in reduced total local anesthetic consumption, fewer manual boluses, and greater patient satisfaction compared with continuous epidural infusion (CEI). In this randomized, double-blind study, we compared the incidence of motor block and labor outcome in women who received PIEB or CEI for maintenance of labor analgesia. The primary outcome variable was maternal motor function and the secondary outcome was mode of delivery.MethodsNulliparous, term women with spontaneous labor and cervical dilation <4 cm were eligible to participate in the study. Epidural analgesia was initiated and maintained with a solution of levobupivacaine 0.0625% with sufentanil 0.5 μg/mL. After an initial epidural loading dose of 20 mL, patients were randomly assigned to receive PIEB (10 mL every hour beginning 60 minutes after the initial dose) or CEI (10 mL/h, beginning immediately after the initial dose) for the maintenance of analgesia. Patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) using a second infusion pump with levobupivacaine 0.125% was used to treat breakthrough pain. The degree of motor block was assessed in both lower extremities using the modified Bromage score at regular intervals throughout labor; the end point was any motor block in either limb. We also evaluated PCEA bolus doses and total analgesic solution consumption.ResultsWe studied 145 subjects (PIEB = 75; CEI = 70). Motor block was reported in 37% in the CEI group and in 2.7% in the PIEB group (P < 0.001; odds ratio = 21.2; 95% CI: 4.9-129.3); it occurred earlier (P = 0.008) (hazard ratio = 7.8; 95% CI: 1.9-30.8; P = 0.003) and was more frequent at full cervical dilation in the CEI group (P < 0.001). The incidence of instrumental delivery was 20% for the CEI group and 7% for the PIEB group (P = 0.03). Total levobupivacaine consumption, number of patients requiring additional PCEA boluses, and mean number of PCEA boluses per patient were lower in the PIEB group (P < 0.001). No differences in pain scores and duration of labor analgesia were observed.ConclusionsMaintenance of epidural analgesia with PIEB compared with CEI resulted in a lower incidence of maternal motor block and instrumental vaginal delivery.

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    This article appears in the collection: Programmed Intermittent Epidural Bolus for Labour Analgesia.

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