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Intravenous patient-controlled fentanyl with and without transversus abdominis plane block in cirrhotic patients post liver resection

Authors Serag Eldin M, Mahmoud F, El Hassan R, Abdel Raouf M, Afifi M, Yassen K, Morad W

Received 18 January 2014

Accepted for publication 25 February 2014

Published 29 May 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 27—37

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/LRA.S60966

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Manar Serag Eldin,1 Fatma Mahmoud,1 Rabab El Hassan,2 Mohamed Abdel Raouf,1 Mohamed H Afifi,2 Khaled Yassen,1 Wesam Morad3

1Department of Anaesthesia, Liver Institute, 2Department of Anaesthesia, Faculty of Medicine, 3Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Liver Institute, Menoufiya University, Shebin El-Kom, Egypt

Background: Coagulation changes can complicate liver resection, particularly in patients with cirrhosis. The aim of this prospective hospital-based comparative study was to compare the postoperative analgesic efficacy of intravenous fentanyl patient-controlled analgesia (IVPCA) with and without transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block.
Methods: Fifty patients with Child’s A cirrhosis undergoing liver resection were randomly divided into two groups for postoperative analgesia, ie, an IVPCA group receiving a 10 µg/mL fentanyl bolus of 15 µg with a 10-minute lockout and a maximum hourly dose of 90 µg, and an IVPCA + TAP group that additionally received TAP block (15 mL of 0.375% bupivacaine) on both sides via a posterior approach with ultrasound guidance before skin incision. Postoperatively, bolus injections of bupivacaine 0.375% were given every 8 hours through a TAP catheter inserted by the surgeon in the open space during closure of the inverted L-shaped right subcostal with midline extension (subcostal approach) guided by the visual analog scale score (<3, 5 mL; 3 to <6, 10 mL; 6–10, 15–20 mL) according to weight (maximum 2 mg/kg). The top-up dosage of local anesthetic could be omitted if the patient was not in pain. Coagulation was monitored using standard coagulation tests.
Results: Age, weight, and sex were comparable between the groups (P<0.05). The visual analog scale score was significantly lower at 12, 18, 24, 48, and 72 hours (P<0.01) in IVPCA + TAP group. The Ramsay sedation score was lower only after 72 hours in the IVPCA + TAP group when compared with the IVPCA group (1.57±0.74 versus 2.2±0.41, respectively, P<0.01). Heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and fentanyl consumption were lower in the IVPCA + TAP group at 24, 48, and 72 hours (P<0.05). Intensive care unit stays were significantly shorter with TAP (2.61±0.74 days versus 4.35±0.79 days, P<0.01). Prothrombin time and International Normalized Ratio indicated temporary hypocoagulability in both groups.
Conclusion: Combining TAP with IVPCA improved postoperative pain management and reduced fentanyl consumption, with a shorter stay in intensive care. TAP block can be included as part of a balanced multimodal postoperative pain regimen.

Keywords: transversus abdominis plane block, liver resection, postoperative pain

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