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Papers of the Week

2022 May 23

Br J Anaesth

Critical appraisal of randomised trials assessing regional analgesic interventions for knee arthroplasty: implications for postoperative pain guidelines development.


Guidelines are increasingly being used for clinical decision-making. Such guidelines are usually based on meta-analyses, which are generally derived from RCTs. However, their interpretations are often hindered as they do not always consider current clinical relevance. Analyses of RCTs assessing analgesic efficacy of advanced regional analgesic techniques in knee arthroplasty show that the majority of trials do not include a package of basic analgesics such as paracetamol, NSAIDs or cyclooxygenase-2 specific inhibitors, dexamethasone, and local infiltration analgesia in the comparator group. Consequently, the current approach to analyse meta-analyses of pain interventions is not optimal, and may lead to inadequate or inappropriate conclusions and clinical guidance.