Authors: Huai Jin Li et al
BMC Anesthesiology volume 20, Article number: 11 (2020)
Few studies have investigated the effect of dexmedetomidine on postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in patients underwent gynecological laparoscopic surgery. We investigated if adding dexmedetomidine to a morphine-based patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) could decrease the incidence of PONV in this high-risk patient population.
In this prospective, randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study, 122 patients underwent gynecological laparoscopic surgery were assigned into two groups. Patients in the dexmedetomidine group (Group Dex) received a loading dose of dexmedetomidine 0.4 μg/kg before the end of surgery, followed by morphine 0.5 mg/ml plus dexmedetomidine 1 μg/ml for postoperative i.v. PCA. Patients in the control group (Group Ctrl) received normal saline before the end of surgery, followed by morphine 0.5 mg/ml alone for postoperative i.v. PCA. PCA pump was programmed as followed: bolus dose 2 ml, lockout interval 8 min and background infusion at a rate of 1 ml/h. The primary outcome was the incidence of nausea and vomiting within the first postoperative 24 h.
Although there were no significant differences in regard to the total incidence of PONV (41.0% vs 52.5%, P = 0.204), PONV score, time to first onset of PONV, or the need for rescue antiemetics within the first postoperative 24 h between the two groups, the incidence of nausea and total PONV during the first 2 h period was significantly lower in the Group Dex than in the Group Ctrl (9.8% vs 24.6%, P = 0.031 and 0.031, respectively). More patients in Group Dex were over sedated or had bradycardia during the PACU compared with Group Ctrl (P = 0.040 and 0.036, respectively).
Our protocol in which dexmedetomidine was administered postoperatively – after a loading dose – to intravenous PCA morphine in patients undergoing gynecological laparoscopic surgery, had only early antiemetic effects, while no clinically meaningful antiemetic effect could be evidenced within the first 24 h after surgery.