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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 300-304

Ultrasound-guided modified parasternal intercostal nerve block: Role of preemptive analgesic adjunct for mitigating poststernotomy pain


Department of Anaesthesiology, Division of Cardiothroracic and Vascular Anaesthesiology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Subin Sukesan
Department of Anaesthesiology, Division of Cardiothroracic and Vascular Anaesthesiology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aer.AER_32_20

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Background and Aim: To assess the quality and effectiveness of postoperative pain relief after fast-tracking tracheal extubation in cardiac surgery intensive care unit, effected by a single-shot modified parasternal intercostal nerve block compared with routine in-hospital analgesic protocol, when administered before sternotomy. Design: A prospective, randomized, double-blinded interventional study. Setting: Single-center tertiary teaching hospital. Participants: Ninety adult patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting surgery under cardiopulmonary bypass. Materials and Methods: Patients were randomized into two groups. Patients in the parasternal intercostal block group (PIB) (n = 45) received ultrasound-guided modified parasternal intercostal nerve block with 0.5% levobupivacaine after anesthesia induction at 2nd–6th intercostal space along postinduction using standardized anesthesia drugs with routine postoperative hospital analgesic protocol with intravenous morphine. Patients in the group following routine hospital analgesia protocol (HAP) (n = 45) served as controls, with standardized anesthesia drugs and routine hospital postoperative analgesic protocol with intravenous morphine. The primary study outcome aimed to evaluate pain at rest and when doing deep breathing exercises with spirometry, coughing expectorations using a 11-point numerical rating scale. Results: The postoperative pain score at rest and during breathing exercises was compared between the two groups at different time durations (15 min after extubation and every 4th hourly for 24 h). Patients in the PIB group had significantly lower pain scores and better quality of analgesia during the entire study period at rest and during breathing exercise (P < 0.0001). Furthermore, the side effect profile and need of rescue analgesics were better in the PIB group than the HAP group at different time intervals. Conclusion: PIB is safe for presternotomy administration and provided significant quality of pain relief postoperatively, as seen after tracheal extubation for a period of 24 h, on rest as well as with deep breathing, coughing, and chest physiotherapy exercises when compared to intravenous morphine alone after sternotomy. This study further emphasizes the role of preemptive analgesia in mitigating postoperative sternotomy pain and it's role as a plausible safe analgesic adjunct facilitating fast tracking with sternotomies on systemic heparinization.


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