• Does ketamine reduce persistent post-surgical pain?


    Daniel Jolley.

    7 articles.

    Created September 4, 2019, last updated over 1 year ago.

    Collection: 111, Score: 894, Trend score: 0, Read count: 895, Articles count: 7, Created: 2019-09-04 01:28:24 UTC. Updated: 2021-02-08 23:41:38 UTC.


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    Collected Articles

    • Eur J Pain · May 2019

      Randomized Controlled Trial

      Ketamine infusion for 96 hr after thoracotomy: Effects on acute and persistent pain.

      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...

      An afterthought

      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.


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    • British journal of pain · Nov 2017

      Does perioperative ketamine have a role in the prevention of chronic postsurgical pain: the ROCKet trial.

      Identifying operations and individuals with an increased risk of chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) has led to significant interest in interventions with the potential to achieve primary prevention of this condition. Pharmacological prevention remains controversial with a Cochrane review identifying perioperative ketamine administration as the only intervention with possible benefit although, with only small, heterogeneous studies, the authors called for a large randomised controlled trial (RCT) to confirm the validity of this result. In response to these data, a group of researchers from Australia and Hong Kong designed the ROCKet trial - Reduction Of Chronic Post-surgical Pain with Ketamine, endorsed by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN).

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    • J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother · Jun 2014

      Randomized Controlled Trial

      Chronic postthoracotomy pain and perioperative ketamine infusion.

      The objectives of this study were to investigate whether continuous intravenous ketamine during the first 72 hours after thoracotomy could reduce the incidence and intensity of chronic postthoracotomy pain (CPTP) and to define the incidence and risk factors of CPTP. Seventy-eight patients receiving thoracotomy for lung tumor (benign or malignant) were randomly divided into two groups: ketamine group (n = 31) and control groups (n = 47). Patients in the ketamine group received intravenous ketamine 1 mg/kg before incision, followed by 2 μg/kg/minute infusion for 72 hours plus sufentanil patient-controlled intravenous analgesia after thoracotomy. ⋯ Retractor used time (OR = 5.811, P = .002), inadequate acute pain control (NRS ≥ 5) (OR = 5.425, P = .048), and chemotherapy (OR = 3.784, P = .056) were independent risk factors for chronic postthoracotomy pain. The authors conclude that continuous intravenous ketamine (2 μg/kg/min) during the first 72 hours after thoracotomy was not beneficial to prevent chronic postthoracotomy pain. The independent risk factors for chronic postthoracotomy pain were retractor used time, inadequate acute pain control, and chemotherapy.

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    • Eur J Pain · May 2009

      Randomized Controlled Trial

      Perioperative ketamine does not prevent chronic pain after thoracotomy.

      Thoracotomy is often responsible for chronic pain, possibly of neuropathic origin. To confirm preclinical studies, the preventive effects of perioperative ketamine were tested in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on persistent neuropathic pain after thoracotomy. Eighty-six patients scheduled for thoracotomy under standardised general anaesthesia were randomised to receive either ketamine (1 mg kg(-1) at the induction, 1 mg kg(-1) h(-1) during surgery, then 1 mg kg(-1) during 24 h; n=42) or normal saline (n=44). ⋯ Ketamine improved immediate postoperative pain, but the groups were similar in terms of neuropathic pain and intake of analgesics, 6 weeks (NPSI score: ketamine: 1.25 [0-4.125]; placebo: 1 [0-4]) and 4 months after surgery. Thus, ketamine given in 24-h infusion failed to prevent chronic neuropathic pain after thoracotomy. Other perioperative preventive long-lasting treatments or techniques could be tested in this context.

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    • Clin J Pain · Jun 2014

      Randomized Controlled Trial

      Perioperative Epidural or Intravenous Ketamine Does Not Improve the Effectiveness of Thoracic Epidural Analgesia for Acute and Chronic Pain After Thoracotomy.

      Persistent postsurgical pain (PPP) after thoracotomy effect 50% to 80%. Nerve damage and central sensitization involving NDMDAr activation may play an important role. This study evaluates the efficacy of adding intravenous (IV) or epidural ketamine to thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA) after thoracotomy. ⋯ Adding epidural or IV racemic ketamine to TEA after thoracotomy did not lead to any reduction in PPP or allodynia. Epidural administration produced similar plasma ketamine levels to the IV route.

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    • Minerva anestesiologica · Jul 2012

      Randomized Controlled Trial

      S+ -ketamine for control of perioperative pain and prevention of post thoracotomy pain syndrome: a randomized, double-blind study.

      Post-thoracotomy pain syndrome (PTPS) often complicates the long term outcome of patients; its appearance has been related to perioperative acute pain. The main goal of this study was to evaluate a possible role of S(+)-ketamine in the prevention of PTPS up to 6 months and secondarily its efficacy in the control of perioperative pain when added to thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA) and adjuvants. ⋯ S(+)-ketamine had no effects in respect to placebo in the prevention of PTPS at 3 and 6 months but had a significant role in maintaining a NRS≤3 in the early postoperative period. A tight control of perioperative pain seems to be associated with a low incidence of moderate and severe PTPS.

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    • Acta Anaesthesiol Scand · Nov 2014

      Review Meta Analysis

      A systematic review and meta-analysis of ketamine for the prevention of persistent post-surgical pain.

      While post-operative pain routinely resolves, persistent post-surgical pain (PPSP) is common in certain surgeries; it causes disability, lowers quality of life and has economic consequences. The objectives of this systematic review and meta-analysis were to evaluate the effectiveness of ketamine in reducing the prevalence and severity of PPSP and to assess safety associated with its use. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE and EMBASE through December 2012 for articles in any language. ⋯ The study data from our review are heterogeneous and demonstrate efficacy of intravenously administered ketamine only in comparison with placebo. Highly variable timing and dosing of ketamine in these studies suggest that no unifying effective regimen has emerged. Future research should focus on clinically relevant outcomes, should stratify patients with pre-existing pain and possible central sensitization and should enroll sufficiently large numbers to account for loss to follow-up in long-term studies.

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