Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 230-236

Intrathecal hyperbaric bupivacaine with fentanyl for labor pain control: a comparative study with continuous epidural analgesia with bupivacaine

1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Faculty of Medicine, Al Azhar University, Egypt
2 Department of Anesthesiology, ICU, and Pain Relief, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed M. Elgarhy
14 Aboelfeda Street, Alharam, Giza
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-7934.238463

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Objective The aim of the study was to assess single-dose intrathecal bupivacaine in combination with fentanyl as a safe and effective alternative to epidural for labor analgesia. Patients and methods Sixty women aged 20–30 years, of American Society of Anesthesiology I–II, and with a single uncomplicated pregnancy were included in this study. Patients were randomly allocated to two equal groups: the spinal group received hyperbaric bupivacaine 0.5% at a dose of 1 ml plus 25 μg fentanyl (0.5 ml), whereas the epidural group received bupivacaine 0.25% at a 14 ml bolus dose with a background epidural infusion of bupivacaine 0.125% at 10 ml/h. Pain intensity was recorded on a visual analogue scale. The quality of pain relief was also related to patient satisfaction after delivery. Side effects such as hypotension, motor block, pruritus, sedation, and nausea were noted. Obstetric parameters and Apgar score were noted, and all results were compared. Results Onset of sensory block was earlier (5.6 ± 1.27 vs. 8.8 ± 1.62 min, P < 0.001) and visual analogue scale at 5, 60, 90, 120, and 150 min was lower in the spinal group compared with the epidural group. All these results were statistically signifi cant. Ninety percent of the parturients in the spinal group versus 62% in the epidural group scored the analgesic quality as excellent. No significant hemodynamic changes were recorded in either group. There were no significant differences between the two groups in motor block, sedation, and nausea. No cesarean section or instrumental delivery was performed. Oxytocin augmentation was needed in 33.3 versus 50% of the parturients in the spinal and epidural groups, respectively. Fetal heart rate disturbances were seen in 10% in the epidural group versus 6.6% in the spinal group. Apgar scores were high and no neonate had Apgar score less than 7 in either group. The overall cost was lower in the spinal group compared with the epidural group. Conclusion Single-dose intrathecal local anesthetic with narcotics is shown to relieve pain safely in most laboring women, with rapid onset and prolonged duration of labor analgesia comparable to that of epidural analgesia while being more easily performed, less time-consuming, and less expensive, and providing similarly excellent analgesia.

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