Bakhtiary F, Therapidis P, Dzemali O, et al. Impact of high thoracic epidural anesthesia on incidence of perioperative atrial fibrillation in off-pump coronary bypass grafting: a prospective randomized study
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common complications in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of high thoracic epidural anesthesia on reduction of perioperative arrhythmia in patients undergoing off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting.
We prospectively randomized 132 patients undergoing elective off-pump coronary bypass grafting using either general anesthesia (GA) (n = 66) or combined general and high thoracic epidural anesthesia (GA+TEA) (n = 66). Incidence of perioperative arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, serum epinephrine levels, heart rate variability, and hemodynamic parameters were compared between groups.
The incidence of perioperative dysarrhythmias was significantly lower (P < .01) in the GA+TEA group (3%) than in the GA group (23.7%). Intraoperative sinus bradycardia occurred in 91% of the patients in the GA+TEA group versus 5.3% in the GA group. After induction of anesthesia, the mean systolic arterial pressure decreased significantly from 128 +/- 5 to 92 +/- 4 mm Hg and the heart rate from 74 +/- 9 to 52 +/- 8 beats . min(-1) in the GA+TEA group, whereas in the GA group no significant hemodynamic changes were observed (P < .001). Serum epinephrine levels were significantly lower in the GA+TEA group (69 +/- 11 to 35 +/- 7 ng/dL) than in the GA group (72 +/- 9 to 70 +/- 9 ng/dL).
In our study cohort, high thoracic epidural anesthesia in combination with general anesthesia reduced significantly the incidence of perioperative arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. Furthermore, we observed a significant reduction of epinephrine serum levels in this patient group. The results of this study support a combination of general anesthesia with thoracic epidural anesthesia as a multidisciplinary approach, which may lead to a better patient outcome, improvement of early analgesia, and reduction of perioperative complications in off-pump coronary artery bypass procedures. The potential risks of thoracic epidural anesthesia during off-pump coronary artery bypass procedures should not be underestimated.
Available from: Wan-Jie Gu
- "Yes 13/41 29/80 RCT/2 Nygard/2004  163 elective CABG CPB 4 days T1-T3, the day before surgery Intraoperative and postoperative : bolus doses of 4 mL of bupivacaine, 5 mg/mL, given hourly Yes 28/79 25/84 RCT/3 Bakhtiary/2007  "
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Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is one of the most common complications in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). The goal of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA) in preventing POAF in adult patients undergoing CABG.
MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched to identify randomized controlled trails in adult patients undergoing CABG who were randomly assigned to receive general anesthesia plus thoracic epidural anesthesia (GA + TEA) or general anesthesia only (GA). Two authors independently extracted data using a standardized Excel file. The primary outcome measure was the incidence of POAF. We used DerSimonian-Laird random-effects models to compute summary risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals.
Five studies involving 540 patients met our inclusion criteria. No significant difference in the incidence of POAF was observed between the two groups (risk ratio, 0.61; 95% confidence interval, 0.33 to 1.12; P = 0.11), with significant heterogeneity among the studies (I2 = 73%, P = 0.005). Sensitivity analyses by primary endpoint, methodological quality and surgical technique yielded similar results.
The limited evidence suggests that TEA shows no beneficial efficacy in preventing POAF in adult patients undergoing CABG. However, the results of this meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution due to significant heterogeneity of the studies included. Thus, the potential infuence of TEA on the incidence of atrial fibrillation following CABG warrants further investigation.
Available from: Lars J Bjertnaes
- "This is consistent with other investigations in this field. By contrast, several authors report reduced incidence of atrial fibrillation after EA for coronary surgery, probably due to the sympatholythic action of epidural blockade [11,15,28-30]. Thus, by reducing the requirements in opioids, time to tracheal extubation and number of complications, EA can become part of a fast-track concept of cardiac anesthesia that is aimed to achieve cost-savings, and improve clinical outcome, as suggested by recent workers . "
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Our aim was to assess the efficacy of thoracic epidural anesthesia (EA) followed by postoperative epidural infusion (EI) and patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) with ropivacaine/fentanyl in off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPCAB).
In a prospective study, 93 patients were scheduled for OPCAB under propofol/fentanyl anesthesia and randomized to three postoperative analgesia regimens aiming at a visual analog scale (VAS) score < 30 mm at rest. The control group (n = 31) received intravenous fentanyl 10 μg/ml postoperatively 3-8 mL/h. After placement of an epidural catheter at the level of Th2-Th4 before OPCAB, a thoracic EI group (n = 31) received EA intraoperatively with ropivacaine 0.75% 1 mg/kg and fentanyl 1 μg/kg followed by continuous EI of ropivacaine 0.2% 3-8 mL/h and fentanyl 2 μg/mL postoperatively. The PCEA group (n = 31), in addition to EA and EI, received PCEA (ropivacaine/fentanyl bolus 1 mL, lock-out interval 12 min) postoperatively. Hemodynamics and blood gases were measured throughout 24 h after OPCAB.
During OPCAB, EA decreased arterial pressure transiently, counteracted changes in global ejection fraction and accumulation of extravascular lung water, and reduced the consumption of propofol by 15%, fentanyl by 50% and nitroglycerin by a 7-fold, but increased the requirements in colloids and vasopressors by 2- and 3-fold, respectively (P < 0.05). After OPCAB, PCEA increased PaO2/FiO2 at 18 h and decreased the duration of mechanical ventilation by 32% compared with the control group (P < 0.05).
In OPCAB, EA with ropivacaine/fentanyl decreases arterial pressure transiently, optimizes myocardial performance and influences the perioperative fluid and vasoactive therapy. Postoperative EI combined with PCEA improves lung function and reduces time to extubation.
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