Comparison of Continuous and Intermittent Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation in Postoperative Pain Management after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Prospective Study

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Afyon Kocatepe University, School of Medicine, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey.
Heart Surgery Forum (Impact Factor: 0.39). 10/2009; 12(5):E266-71. DOI: 10.1532/HSF98.20081139
Source: PubMed


We compared the effectiveness of continuous transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and intermittent TENS in the management of pain after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
We randomized 100 patients who had undergone median sternotomy for CABG into 4 groups with 25 patients each: (1) continuous TENS (CTENS) and pharmacologic analgesia, (2) intermittent TENS (ITENS) and pharmacologic analgesia, (3) placebo TENS (PTENS) and pharmacologic analgesia, and (4) pharmacologic analgesia alone (control). We studied these groups with regard to the relief of postoperative pain during the first 24 hours. For each patient we recorded the following: demographic characteristics; vital signs; intensity of pain with a visual analogue scale (VAS) before treatment (VAS(0)), at the 12th hour (VAS(12)), and at the 24th hour (VAS(24)); and analgesic intake.
The groups were comparable with respect to age, sex, and body mass index at baseline. Mean VAS scores decreased within each group; however, the mean VAS(12) and VAS(24) scores decreased significantly in the CTENS and ITENS groups, compared with PTENS and control groups (P < .05). We found no significant difference between the CTENS and ITENS groups with respect to decreasing VAS(12) and VAS(24) scores (P > .05). Narcotic intake was significantly less in the CTENS and ITENS groups than in the control and PTENS groups (P < .01). Furthermore, narcotic requirements were significantly lower in the CTENS group than in the ITENS group (P < .01).
CTENS and ITENS after median sternotomy for CABG decreased pain and reduced narcotic requirements more than in the PTENS and control treatments during first postoperative 24 hours. Neither CTENS nor ITENS is superior to the other in decreasing pain; however, CTENS leads to a greater reduction in the narcotic requirement than ITENS.

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    • "Interestingly, electrical skin stimulation reduces pain perception of the organism. This technique was termed transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which was successfully applied for post-sternotomy pain management in several randomized clinical trials [13–15]. The stimulation of skin for pain reduction indicates that acupuncture as a technique applied since ages to treat pain associated with many diseases and symptoms may also be helpful for poststernotomy pain management. "
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale. Poststernotomy pain and impaired breathing are common clinical problems in early postoperative care following heart surgery. Insufficiently treated pain increases the risk of pulmonary complications. High-dose opioids are used for pain management, but they may cause side effects such as respiratory depression. Study Design. We performed a prospective, randomized, controlled, observer-blinded, three-armed clinical trial with 100 patients. Group 1 (n = 33) and Group 2 (n = 34) received one 20 min session of standardized acupuncture treatment with two different sets of acupoints. Group 3 (n = 33) served as standard analgesia control without additional intervention. Results. Primary endpoint analysis revealed a statistically significant analgesic effect for both acupuncture treatments. Group 1 showed a mean percentile pain reduction (PPR) of 18% (SD 19, P < 0.001). Group 2 yielded a mean PPR of 71% (SD 13, P < 0.001). In Group 1, acupuncture resulted in a mean forced vital capacity (FVC) increase of 30 cm(3) (SD 73) without statistical significance (P = 0.303). In Group 2, posttreatment FVC showed a significant increase of 306 cm(3) (SD 215, P < 0.001). Conclusion. Acupuncture revealed specific analgesic effects after sternotomy. Objective measurement of poststernotomy pain via lung function test was possible.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 03/2013; 2013(4). DOI:10.1155/2013/219817 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "The use of TENS increases the analgesic effect in patients undergoing a thoracotomy, providing an important analgesic strategy for the treatment of acute postoperative pain [24,25,28,30,31]. However, a study was conducted with 324 patients who underwent different types of chest surgery and concluded that TENS had little or no benefit after procedures associated with severe pain (posterolateral thoracotomy) [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pain is a negative factor in the recovery process of postoperative patients, causing pulmonary alterations and complications and affecting functional capacity. Thus, it is plausible to introduce transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for pain relief to subsequently reduce complications caused by this pain in the postoperative period. The objective of this paper is to assess the effects of TENS on pain, walking function, respiratory muscle strength and vital capacity in kidney donors. Methods/design Seventy-four patients will be randomly allocated into 2 groups: active TENS or placebo TENS. All patients will be assessed for pain intensity, walk function (Iowa Gait Test), respiratory muscle strength (maximal inspiratory pressure and maximal expiratory pressure) and vital capacity before and after the TENS application. The data will be collected by an assessor who is blinded to the group allocation. Discussion This study is the first to examine the effects of TENS in this population. TENS during the postoperative period may result in pain relief and improvements in pulmonary tests and mobility, thus leading to an improved quality of life and further promoting organ donation. Trial registration Registro Brasileiro de Ensaios Clinicos (ReBEC), number RBR-8xtkjp.
    BMC Nephrology 01/2013; 14(1):7. DOI:10.1186/1471-2369-14-7 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    • "Estudos que realizaram cirurgia pulmonar com abordagem por toracotomia posterolateral Liu et al., 1985 Warfield et al., 1985 Erdogan et al., 2005 Solak et al., 2007 Chandra et al., 2010 Estudos que realizaram cirurgia cardíaca com abordagem por esternotomia mediana Forster et al., 1994 Cipriano et al., 2008 Emmiler et al., 2008 Ferraz & Moreira, 2009 Luchesa et al., 2009 Solak et al., 2009 Geração da sequência aleatória "
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effects of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) on pain and pulmonary function during the postoperative period after thoracic surgery by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. The search strategy included MEDLINE, PEDro, Cochrane CENTRAL, EMBASE and LILACS, besides a manual search, from inception to August, 2011. Randomized trials were included, comparing TENS associated or not with pharmacological analgesia vs. placebo TENS associated or not with pharmacological analgesia or vs. pharmacological analgesia alone to assess pain (visual analog scale - VAS) and/or pulmonary function represented by forced vital capacity (FVC) in postoperative thoracic surgery patients (pulmonary or cardiac with approach by thoracotomy or sternotomy). Of the 2.489 articles identified, 11 studies were included. In the approach by thoracotomy, TENS associated with pharmacological analgesia reduced pain compared to the placebo TENS associated with pharmacological analgesia (VAS -1.29; CI95%: -1.94 to - 0.65). In the approach by sternotomy, TENS associated with pharmacological analgesia also reduced pain compared to the placebo TENS associated with pharmacological analgesia (VAS -1.33; 95%CI: -1.89 to 0.77) and compared to pharmacological analgesia alone (VAS -1.23; 95%CI: -1.79 to -0.67). There was no significant improvement in FVC (0.12 L; 95%CI: -0.27 to 0.51). TENS associated with pharmacological analgesia provides pain relief compared to the placebo TENS in postoperative thoracic surgery patients both approached by thoracotomy and sternotomy. In the sternotomy it also provides more effective pain relief compared to pharmacological analgesia alone, but has no significant effect on pulmonary function.
    Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 03/2012; 27(1):75-87. DOI:10.5935/1678-9741.20120012 · 0.55 Impact Factor
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