Norepinephrine is effective in preventing spinal hypotension during cesarean birth; however, an optimal regimen has not been determined. We hypothesized that an initial bolus of norepinephrine improves efficacy of spinal hypotension prophylaxis beyond continuous norepinephrine alone.
In this double-blind, controlled study, 120 patients scheduled for cesarean birth under spinal anesthesia were randomly allocated to receive a norepinephrine bolus at 0.05 or 0.10 μg/kg, followed by norepinephrine infusion at a rate of 0.05 μg·kg–1·min–1. The primary outcome was the frequency of spinal hypotension during cesarean birth. The doses of the rescue drug (phenylephrine), frequency of nausea or vomiting, duration of hypotension, frequency of intraoperative hypertension, frequency of bradycardia, and fetal outcomes were also compared.
One-hundred-fifteen patients were included in the analysis. Compared with the 0.05 μg/kg group, the frequency of spinal hypotension was lower in the 0.10 μg/kg group (20.7% vs 45.6%; odds ratio [OR], 0.31; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.14–0.71; P = .004). Fewer rescue doses of phenylephrine (0 [0,0] vs 0 [0,80]; 95% CI for the difference, 0 (0–0); P = .006) were required, and the frequency of nausea or vomiting was lower (5.2% vs 17.5%; OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.07–0.99; P = .04) in the 0.10 μg/kg group. The duration of hypotension was shorter in the 0.10 μg/kg group than that in the 0.05 μg/kg group (0 [0,0] vs 0 [0,2]; 95% CI for the difference, 0 [0–0]; P = .006). The incidence of intraoperative hypertension, frequency of bradycardia, and fetal outcomes were comparable between the 2 groups.
With a fixed-rate norepinephrine infusion of 0.05 μg·kg–1·min–1, the 0.10 μg/kg initial bolus was more effective in reducing the incidence of spinal hypotension compared with the 0.05 μg/kg initial bolus.