Review Meta Analysis
Abrishami et al.'s Cochrane review of 18 RCTs totalling 1,300 patients confirmed the superiority of sugammadex compared with neostigmine at all studied levels of blockade. They identified sugammadex dosing of:
- 2 mg/kg - for reversal of rocuronium neuromuscular blockade at TOF-T2 reappearance.
- 4 mg/kg - for reversal at post-tetanic count of 1 to 2.
- 16 mg/kg - for reversal 3 to 5 minutes after a rocuronium intubating dose.
Importantly there was similar frequency of adverse events compared to neostigmine (< 1%), although overall small sample sizes mean no conclusion can be made regarding rare serious adverse events.summary
Randomized Controlled Trial Multicenter Study
Randomized Controlled Trial Multicenter Study Clinical Trial
Randomized Controlled Trial
Why is this significant?
This is the first randomised controlled trial looking at the impact of perioperative ketamine on persistent post-surgical (PPS) pain 1 year after thoracic surgery. Thoracotomy is associated with both severe and a high incidence (up to 50% at 6 months) chronic pain.
Ketamine has important analgesic properties through NMDA blockade, and has been long thought (hoped) that via this it may modify chronic post-surgical pain. Nonetheless, many studies have been unable to show a benefit for ketamine in reducing PPS pain.
What did they show?
Chumbley et al. ran ketamine infusions at 0.1 mg/kg/hour for 96 hours in patients undergoing thoracotomy, starting with a 0.1 mg/kg bolus 10 minutes before surgery. Patients also received either an epidural or paravertebral infusion for post-operative analgesia.
Although there were small differences in acute pain (notably the ketamine group used less PCA morphine) there was no difference in persistent post-surgical pain at 12 months.
The evidence continues to mount against perioperative ketamine, suggesting it does not reduce persistent post-surgical pain, not-withstanding its acute analgesia benefits. Await results of the ROCKet trial (Reduction Of Chronic Post-surgical Pain with Ketamine) to provide greater clarity...
Notably, the researchers did demonstrate a dramatically lower incidence of PPS pain than for similar studies (27%, 18%, 13% at 3, 6, 12 months) across both the ketamine and placebo group. This suggests that either the study participants were not representative of the typical thoracotomy patient (unlikely), or other care associated with the study had a beneficial effect on reducing PPS – perhaps even via a Hawthorne-like effect.summary
Randomized Controlled Trial Clinical Trial