Surgically positioned paravertebral catheters and postoperative analgesia after open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.


Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To compare postoperative morphine equivalent intake after open abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair among analgesic modalities: systemic analgesia (SA) only with no regional anesthesia, surgically positioned paravertebral catheter (PVC), and thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA).
METHODS : This retrospective cohort study included patients undergoing elective open AAA at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Science Center, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Demographics, morphine equivalents, methods of analgesia administration, and outcomes data were collected on all patients from 2005 to 2016. Total morphine equivalent (MEQ) on postoperative days (PODs) 1, 2, and 3 were compared among patients with SA, PVC, and TEA. A multivariable zero-inflated log-linear regression was used to determine the association between analgesic modality and MEQ. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine associations between analgesic modality and postoperative pain, rates of discharge from intensive care within 1 day and opioid-related adverse events.
RESULTS : The study cohort included 355 patients: 177 retroperitoneal and 178 transperitoneal repairs; 173 patients underwent SA, 117 PVC, and 65 TEA. On POD1, median MEQs were 984 (interquartile range [IQR], 342-1525) for SA, 89 (33-246) for PVC, and 49 (0-90) for TEA. On POD2, the median MEQs were 105 (IQR, 57-210) for SA, 45 (15-99) for PVC, and 30 (0-64) for TEA. On POD3, the median MEQs were 45 (IQR, 15-120) for SA, 30 (0-60) for PVC, and 10 (0-45) for TEA. On multivariable log-linear regression, compared with SA, PVC and TEA were associated with increased odds of receiving no opioids on POD1 (odds ratio [OR], 66.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 17.49-255.57; and OR, 214.68; 95% CI, 60.20-766.38; respectively), POD 2 (OR, 6.97; 95% CI, 3.61-13.46; and OR, 28.73; 95% CI, 15.68-52.62; respectively), and POD 3 (OR, 3.93; 95% CI, 2.72-5.67; and OR, 4.68; 95% CI, 3.20-6.86; respectively). If patients did receive opioids, compared with SA, PVC and TEA were associated with decreased consumption on POD1 (RR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.18-0.27; and RR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.12-0.20; respectively), POD2 (RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.42-0.58; and RR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.37-0.56; respectively), and POD3 (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.66-0.93; and RR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.63-0.93; respectively). Compared with SA, PVC was associated with earlier discharge from intensive care (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.17-6.45) and TEA was not (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.56-2.2). Compared with TEA, PVC was not associated with increased rate of opioid-related adverse events (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.08-2.44).
CONCLUSIONS : PVC and TEA are associated with decreased MEQ compared with SA. PVC is associated with earlier discharge from intensive care compared with SA and similar rates of opioid-related adverse events compared with TEA. Paravertebral analgesia appears to be a safe and effective analgesic modality in patients undergoing retroperitoneal approach for abdominal aneurysm repair.