This controversy-starting retrospective study reported a 30% reduction in 3 year recurrence-free survival after undergoing mastectomy for primary breast cancer in patients who received a traditional general anaesthetic with morphine analgesia, compared with those receiving a regional (paravertebral) technique.
Although plausible biological mechanisms have been suggested and even demonstrated in vitro, the huge treatment effect is yet to be replicated in better quality retrospective or prospective trials.
Evidence to date does not (yet) support this trial’s findings.
"An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof." – Marcello Truzzisummary
Nerve puncture by the block needle and intraneural injection of local anesthetic are thought to be major risk factors leading to neurologic injury after peripheral nerve blocks. In this study, the author sought to determine the needle-nerve relation and location of the injectate during ultrasound-guided axillary plexus block. ⋯ Under the conditions of this study, puncturing of the peripheral nerves and apparent intraneural injection during axillary plexus block did not lead to a neurologic injury.
Randomized Controlled Trial
Postsurgical administration of opiates in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has recently been linked to an increased risk for respiratory complications. The authors have attributed this association to an effect of recurrent oxygen desaturation accompanying OSA on endogenous opioid mechanisms that, in turn, alter responsiveness to subsequent administration of exogenous opiates. In a retrospective study, the authors have shown that oxygen desaturation and young age in children with OSA are correlated with a reduced opiate requirement for postoperative analgesia. ⋯ Previous recurrent hypoxemia in OSA is associated with increased analgesic sensitivity to subsequent morphine administration. Therefore, opiate dosing in children with OSA must take into account a history of recurrent hypoxemia.
Comparative Study Clinical Trial
Antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel is known to confer protection against ischemic events. Increasing numbers of patients are presenting for surgery while taking these drugs. This may lead to an increase in perioperative blood loss, particularly in those who have a heightened response to the drugs. Identifying these patients preoperatively would allow us to plan appropriate management. ⋯ The search for a point-of-care monitor of platelet function has been the focus of much research. This study has shown that the modified thromboelastograph can be used for monitoring the effect of clopidogrel as well as aspirin. It potentially has a wide scope to be used for the monitoring of effectiveness of therapy as well as a possible predictor of perioperative bleeding.
Bupivacaine retards myocardial acidosis during ischemia. The authors measured function of rat isolated hearts after prolonged storage to determine whether bupivacaine improves cardiac protection compared with standard cardioplegia alone. ⋯ Adding bupivacaine to a depolarizing cardioplegia solution reduces cell damage and improves cardiac function after prolonged storage. Metabolic inhibition may contribute to this phenomenon, which is not entirely explained by sodium channel blockade.