Postoperative analgesia for early extubation after cardiac surgery. A prospective, randomized trial.

M. Ranucci, A. Cazzaniga, G. Soro, G. Isgrò, R. Rossi, M. Pavesi

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BACKGROUND: Early extubation after cardiac surgery is a procedure recently gaining interest due to its ability to shorten intensive care unit and hospital stay and to limit the operation-related costs. Its use, however, raised new problems in terms of pain control in the early postoperative course, due to the need for limiting opioid analgesia. This study deals with non-opioid pain control after cardiac surgery and early extubation. METHODS: Prospective, randomized trial aimed to investigate the effectiveness of three intravenous analgesic drugs (ketorolac, 60 mg i.v.; propacetamol, 2 g i.v.; tramadol, 200 mg i.v.) for the management of postoperative pain in early extubated cardiac surgical patients. Each treatment group comprised 20 patients. RESULTS: The pain assessment (5-item verbal scale) demonstrated a significant (p <0.05) lower value in patients treated with ketorolac vs propacetamol, while patients treated with tramadol did not significantly differ from the other two groups. There was a significantly (p <0.05) higher rate of patients with severe pain in propacetamol group. Patients treated with tramadol had a significantly (p <0.01) higher PaCO2 (48 +/- 6 mmHg) versus patients treated with ketorolac (43.4 +/- 3.7 mmHg) or propacetamol (42.9 +/- 3.4 mmHg). CONCLUSIONS: Tramadol and ketorolac seem to be the best options for treating postoperative pain in the specific setting of early extubation after cardiac surgery; high doses of tramadol may result in a significant even if clinically not relevant respiratory depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-865
Number of pages7
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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