Background. The overall effect of perineural dexamethasone on postoperative analgesia outcomes has yet to be quantified. The main objective of this quantitative review was to evaluate the effect of perineural dexamethasone as a nerve block adjunct on postoperative analgesia outcomes. Methods. A systematic search was performed to identify randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of perineural dexamethasone as a block adjunct on postoperative pain outcomes in patients receiving regional anesthesia. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effect model. Results. Nine randomized trials with 760 subjects were included. The weighted mean difference (99% CI) of the combined effects favored perineural dexamethasone over control for analgesia duration, 473 (264 to 682) minutes, and motor block duration, 500 (154 to 846) minutes. Postoperative opioid consumption was also reduced in the perineural dexamethasone group compared to control, -8.5 (-12.3 to -4.6) mg of IV morphine equivalents. No significant neurological symptoms could have been attributed to the use of perineural dexamethasone. Conclusions. Perineural dexamethasone improves postoperative pain outcomes when given as an adjunct to brachial plexus blocks. There were no reports of persistent nerve injury attributed to perineural administration of the drug.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine