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Papers of the Week

2022 Aug




A Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial to Assess the Analgesic Efficacy of Ultrasound-Guided Preemptive Caudal Morphine as an Adjunct to Bupivacaine for Lumbosacral Spine Surgeries in Adults.


Background The analgesic efficacy of preemptive administration of caudal morphine for spine surgeries in adults is not well studied. In a double-blinded, randomized controlled trial, safety and analgesic efficacy of preemptive, single-shot caudal morphine and bupivacaine was compared with caudal bupivacaine alone in lumbosacral spine surgeries. Methods After Institutional Ethics Committee approval, 40 patients aged 18-60 yrs planned for lumbosacral spine surgery were randomized to groups of 20 patients each. After induction and prone positioning, an ultrasound-guided caudal block was performed with morphine 50 µg/kg with 20 ml 0.25% bupivacaine in the study group (LM) and only bupivacaine in the control group (LA). Postoperatively, both groups received intravenous morphine via patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump (No basal, 1 mg/bolus, 10 minutes lockout interval). Intraoperative fentanyl use, postoperative 24-h morphine consumption, visual analogue pain scores (VAS) and adverse effects of morphine were noted. Results Demographics and baseline data were comparable. Postoperative 24-hour morphine requirement was more in LA group (34.3 ± 10.7 mg vs 19.65 ± 11.8 mg, p=0.0001). Total intraoperative supplemental fentanyl requirement was similar (79.25 ± 67.60 µg in LA vs 54 ± 50.20 µg in LM group, p=0.28). VAS scores at 2/4/6/12-hour in group-LM were significantly less than group-LA (p=0.005, 0.002, 0.001 and 0.047) but were comparable at 18 and 24 hours (p=0.25, 0.42). Postoperative incidence of adverse effects of morphine was comparable. Conclusions Ultrasound-guided, single-shot preemptive administration of caudal morphine with bupivacaine is a safe and effective modality of analgesia for patients undergoing lumbosacral spine surgeries.