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Maternal experience during epidural or combined spinal-epidural anesthesia for cesarean section: a prospective, randomized trial

Maternal experience during epidural or combined spinal-epidural anesthesia for cesarean section: a prospective, randomized trial

Anesthesia and Analgesia 85(3): 607-613

Epidural anesthesia (EA) and combined spinal-epidural anesthesia (CSEA) are popular anesthetic techniques for elective cesarean section. A randomized, blind study was conducted to compare maternal experiences during these regional anesthetics. EA was established using alkalinized 2% lidocaine with epinephrine and fentanyl, whereas spinal anesthesia was performed using 2.5 mL hyperbaric 0.5% bupivacaine and fentanyl via a single-space CSEA approach. Both patients and observers were blinded to the anesthetic technique allocation. One hundred twenty patients were enrolled; 6 were withdrawn (Group EA, n = 55; Group CSEA, n = 59). Of the two techniques, CSEA was associated with earlier onset times (P lt 0.001), more intense motor block (P lt 0.05), and greater ephedrine use (P lt 0.01). Anxiety was significantly lower (P lt 0.05) and satisfaction was higher (P lt 0.05) before starting surgery with CSEA. Pain scores were lower pre- and intraoperatively with CSEA, a difference that became significant during block placement and at delivery (P lt 0.05). There were no differences between groups in the incidence or severity of hypotension and nausea or analgesic supplementation rate; or for postoperative assessments of intraoperative pain, anxiety and satisfaction, and postpartum backache and headache. We conclude that maternal conditions and experience were good with both methods, although CSEA conferred several minor advantages. Implications: Epidural and combined spinal-epidural anesthesia are often used for elective cesarean sections. Although the combined spinal-epidural anesthetic technique conferred minor advantages, both techniques were associated with low anesthetic failure rates, good operative conditions, and high maternal satisfaction levels.

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Accession: 008995320

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PMID: 9296417

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