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Anaesthesia and intensive care

Epidural anaesthesia with goal-directed administration of ropivacaine improves haemodynamic stability when combined with general anaesthesia in elderly patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.


PMID 23362895

Abstract

The use of epidural ropivacaine may result in significant haemodynamic fluctuations during combined epidural and general anaesthesia. We designed this study to investigate whether epidural anaesthesia with a goal-directed approach, when combined with general anaesthesia, improved haemodynamic stability in elderly patients undergoing major abdominal surgery. Seventy-five elderly patients undergoing major abdominal surgery were randomly and evenly assigned to one of three groups receiving intraoperative epidural anaesthesia with either ropivacaine 0.1% (Group 1), ropivacaine 0.375% (Group 2) or ropivacaine 0.375% for abdominal wall pain and ropivacaine 0.1% for visceral pain (Group 3). General anaesthesia was induced using a target-controlled infusion of combined propofol and remifentanil. The remifentanil target concentration was adjusted according to the mean arterial pressure and heart rate, and vasoactive agents were administered to maintain stable haemodynamics. The need for vasoactive drug administrations was 1.4 (standard deviation 0.9) in Group 3 (n=24), representing a significantly lower frequency of administration compared with Groups 1 (n=24) and 2 (n=24) (P <0.05 versus Group 1; P <0.01 versus Group 2). The total intraoperative dose of remifentanil was significantly greater in Group 1 (P <0.01 versus Group 2; P <0.05 versus Group 3) but did not differ significantly between Groups 2 and 3. Goal-directed epidural anaesthesia with different ropivacaine concentrations can improve haemodynamic stability when combined with general anaesthesia for elderly patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.