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Regional anesthesia to ameliorate postoperative analgesia outcomes in pediatric surgical patients: an updated systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Authors Kendall MC, Castro Alves LJ, Suh EI, McCormick ZL, De Oliveira GS

Received 28 August 2018

Accepted for publication 6 October 2018

Published 15 November 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 91—109


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Stefan Wirz

Mark C Kendall,1 Lucas J Castro Alves,2 Edward I Suh,1 Zachary L McCormick,3 Gildasio S De Oliveira1

1Department of Anesthesiology, Rhode Island Hospital, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA; 2Department of Anesthesiology, Sao Paulo State University, Sao Paulo, Brazil; 3Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Abstract: Regional anesthesia is becoming increasingly popular among anesthesiologists in the management of postoperative analgesia following pediatric surgery. The main objective of this review was to systematically evaluate the last 5 years of randomized controlled trials on the role of regional anesthesia techniques in alleviating postoperative pain associated with various pediatric surgical procedures. Forty studies on 2,408 pediatric patients were evaluated. The majority of the articles published from 2013 to 2017 reported that the use of regional anesthesia minimized postoperative pain and reduced opioid consumption. Only a few surgical procedures (cholecystectomy, inguinal hernia repair, and non-laparoscopic major abdominal surgery) reported no significant difference in the postoperative pain relief compared with the standard anesthetic management. The growing number of randomized controlled trials in the pediatric literature is very promising; however, additional confirmation is needed to reinforce the use of specific regional anesthesia techniques to provide optimal postoperative pain relief for a few surgical procedures (reconstructive ear surgery, chest wall deformity, hypospadias, umbilical hernia, cleft palate repair) in pediatric patients. More randomized controlled trials are needed to establish regional anesthesia as an essential component of postoperative analgesia management in children.

Keywords: regional anesthesia, peripheral nerve block, pediatrics

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