Dose-ranging effects of intrathecal epinephrine on anesthesia/analgesia: A meta-analysis and metaregression of randomized controlled trials

Gildasio S. De Oliveira*, Blerina Balliu, Antoun Nader, Robert J. McCarthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Intrathecal epinephrine has been examined by clinical studies, but its effects on analgesia/anesthesia outcomes as well as on undesirable adverse effects is not clearly defined. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of intrathecal epinephrine on intrathecal anesthesia/analgesia. METHODS: We performed a meta-analysis, using a random-effects model. Effects of intrathecal epinephrine dose were evaluated by pooling studies into 3 dosage groups: low (1-100 μg), intermediate (101-200 μg), and high (≥200 μg). Metaregression analyses were also performed to examine the presence of a linear association between intrathecal epinephrine dose and effect size on evaluated outcomes. RESULTS: Twenty-four randomized clinical trials with 1,271 subjects were included. The mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) combined effects favored intrathecal epinephrine over placebo for duration of analgesia, 27.0 mins (20.8-33.3 mins); sensory, 35.0 mins (22.8-47.3 mins); and motor block, 32.2 mins (26.2-38.2 mins). The incidence of hypotension and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) was greater for the low dose (1-100 μg) intrathecal epinephrine group compared with placebo (odds ratios [95% CI], 3.0 [1.5-5.9] and 2.7 [1.5-4.8], respectively). A greater incidence of hypotension and PONV was not detected for the intermediate-dose group (101-200 μg): odds ratios (95% CI) of 0.9 (0.5-1.7) and 1.6 (0.6-4.6), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Intrathecal epinephrine has dose-dependent clinical and adverse effects. Doses of 100 μg or less prolonged sensory and motor block duration but were associated with greater incidence of hypotension or PONV. Intrathecal epinephrine doses greater than 100 μg prolonged sensory and motor block and were not associated with greater incidence of hypotension and PONV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-432
Number of pages10
JournalRegional anesthesia and pain medicine
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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