Published in Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Aug 29
Authors: Imai Y et al
Thirty-one to 97 % of patients who undergo thoracotomy for lung cancer experience ipsilateral shoulder pain, marring the otherwise excellent relief provided by thoracic epidural analgesia. The aim of this study was to test whether the addition of pregabalin to the treatment for shoulder pain would provide a significant benefit.
Twenty patients undergoing thoracic surgery for lung cancer were enrolled in the control group between May 2012 and December 2012, and 20 patients were enrolled in the pregabalin group between January 2013 and July 2013, consecutively. All patients had standard pre- and intraoperative care. Patients received pregabalin 150 mg po POD 1 and then non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) po 2 h later (pregabalin group), or they received only NSAIDs po at exactly the same times (control group). Pain severity was then measured using a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) scoring system.
The VAS scores indicated that patients in the pregabalin group had significantly less shoulder pain on postoperative day (POD) 2 than those in the control group (control: 27.9 ± 28.1 vs. pregabalin: 11.8 ± 14.4; p = 0.030). No differences in pain were observed between the two groups on other POD. There were significant differences on only POD 2 in the patients with shoulder pain immediately after surgery. Three of the pregabalin-treated patients showed mild somnolence.
Postoperative administration of pregabalin provided significant relief of postoperative shoulder pain during earlier POD after thoracic surgery for lung cancer when received multimodal analgesia in combination with NSAIDs.