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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 362-370

Continuous spinal versus continuous thoracic epidural anesthesia for major abdominal surgery in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Department of Anesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MD Farahat I Ahmed
41 Elssehabah Street, Hadayek Alkobbah, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/roaic.roaic_77_18

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Background Most anesthetists preferred general anesthesia for major abdominal surgery which was not devoid of complications in cases with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Recently, the use of neuraxial anesthesia is supported to avoid or decrease these complications. This study aimed at the description, evaluation, and comparison between the use of continuous spinal anesthesia (CSA) and continuous thoracic epidural anesthesia (CTEA) as a sole anesthesia for major abdominal surgeries in cases with COPD. Patients and methods Sixty patients of both sexes aged 40–75 years with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classes II and III complaining of COPD scheduled for various elective major abdominal operations were included. According to the neuraxial block type, the patients were randomly assigned into two equal groups with 30 patients in each. The first group (CSA group) received continuous lumbar spinal anesthesia and the second group (CTEA group) received continuous thoracic epidural anesthesia. The data recorded included patients’ demographic data, characteristics of the used neuraxial blockade, hemodynamic changes, changes in pulmonary functions, incidence of the various side effects, and postoperative pain severity. Results The final statistical analysis included 55 patients where five patients were excluded from the study. Although there were no statistically significant differences between both groups regarding demographics, hemodynamics, changes in pulmonary functions, side effects, surgeon, and patients’ satisfactions, and postoperative visual analog scale. The CSA group has faster block onset with less local anesthetic dose compared with the CTEA group (P<0.001). Also, there were statistically significant decrease in peak expiratory flow rate, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity at 1, 2, and 6 h postoperatively compared with the preoperative baseline values in both groups (P<0.05). Hypotension was significantly more frequent in the CTEA group than in the CSA group (P=0.047). Conclusion Although both CSA and CTEA can be used for anesthesia and for postoperative analgesia in major abdominal surgery in COPD patients, the CSA was easier, safer, had faster onset, gave more predictable block, with less hemodynamic instability, and less technical failure compared with CTEA. The preoperative optimization of the lung functions, intraoperative close observation, and postoperative neuraxial analgesia with chest physiotherapy improved the outcome.

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