Background: Sufentanil added to intrathecal bupivacaine for cesarean section has shown to improve intraoperative and postoperative analgesia with no adverse effects on the mother and neonate. We compared the effects of intrathecal sufentanil 5 mcg and placebo when administered with hyperbaric bupivacaine 0.5% 11 mg for cesarean section.
Patients and methods: Sixty parturients of ASA grading I and II of age between 18 to 45 years scheduled for elective cesarean section under subarachnoid block were randomly allocated into one of the two groups to receive 5μg sufentanil + 0.2ml sterile, preservative- free normal saline (Group S) and 0.3ml sterile, preservative-free normal saline (Group C) along with 2.2ml 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine making total volume to 2.5 ml.
Results: The two groups were compared with respect to their sensory and motor block characteristics, duration of analgesia, intraoperative haemodynamic changes, adverse effects and effect on neonatal Apgar score. Postoperative pain was assessed using the visual analog scale (VAS). Duration of analgesia was defined as the time taken for a VAS score of 4 to be achieved. Mean duration of analgesia was significantly prolonged in sufentanil group (184.0 + 51.50 minutes) than the control group (107.0 ± 46.40 minutes). There is faster onset of sensory and motor block in the sufentanil group. The incidences of bradycardia and hypotensive episodes were similar in the two groups. There was no evidence of respiratory depression in any of the patients in any groups. Pruritus was observed in 6 (20.0%) patients in Group S which was statistically significant. There was no significant effect on Apgar score of the neonate.
Conclusion: Thus the addition of Sufentanil (5 mcg) intrathecally provides improved postoperative analgesia and haemodynamic stability with minimal side effects.
Keywords: Cesarean section; bupivacaine; spinal anaesthesia; sufentanil.