Preoperative intravenous dexamethasone combined with glossopharyngeal nerve block: role in pediatric postoperative analgesia following tonsillectomy

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Nov;266(11):1815-9. doi: 10.1007/s00405-009-0937-4. Epub 2009 Mar 5.


Tonsillectomy is one of the most frequently performed ambulatory surgical procedures in children (Litman et al. in Anesth Analg 78:478-481, 1994). Several techniques have been described for alleviation of pain (Ginstrom et al. in Acta Otolaryngol 125:972-975, 2005). the objective of this study determination of the postoperative analgesic efficacy of the pre-surgical intravenous administration of dexamethasone together with glossopharyngeal nerve block (GNB) in children undergoing tonsillectomy. Prospective double blind randomized control study using both pre-operative injection of 0.5 mg/kg dexamethasone iv and 3 ml of 0.5% bupivacaine local injection for bilateral glossopharyngeal nerve block. Patients in group B had significantly less visual analogue scale values, longer absolute analgesia time, lesser swallowing difficulty and they were discharged earlier from the hospital when compared to patients in both groups D and G. Using both pre-operative dexamethasone IV injection with GNB has reduced postoperative pain and morbidity to a great extent than using either alone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve*
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Preoperative Care
  • Tonsillectomy / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dexamethasone