alexa Treatment of hypotension after hyperbaric tetracaine spinal anesthesia. A randomized, double-blind, cross-over comparison of phenylephrine and epinephrine.


Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research

Author(s): Brooker RF, Butterworth JF th, Kitzman DW, Berman JM, Kashtan HI

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BACKGROUND: Despite many advantages, spinal anesthesia often is followed by undesirable decreases in blood pressure, for which the ideal treatment remains controversial. Because spinal anesthesia-induced sympathectomy and management with a pure alpha-adrenergic agonist can separately lead to bradycardia, the authors hypothesized that epinephrine, a mixed alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonist, would more effectively restore arterial blood pressure and cardiac output after spinal anesthesia than phenylephrine, a pure alpha-adrenergic agonist.

METHODS: Using a prospective, double-blind, randomized, cross-over study design, 13 patients received sequential infusions of epinephrine and phenylephrine to manage hypotension after hyperbaric tetracaine (10 mg) spinal anesthesia. Blood pressure, heart rate, and stroke volume (measured by Doppler echocardiography using the transmitral time-velocity integral) were recorded at baseline, 5 min after injection of tetracaine, and before and after management of hypotension with epinephrine and phenylephrine. Cardiac output was calculated by multiplying stroke volume x heart rate.

RESULTS: Five min after placement of a hyperbaric tetracaine spinal anesthesia, significant decrease in systolic (from 143 +/- 6 mmHg to 125 +/- 5 mmHg; P < 0.001), diastolic (from 81 +/- 3 to 71 +/- 3; P < 0.001), and mean (from 102 +/- 4 to 89 +/- 3; P < 0.001) arterial pressures occurred. Heart rate (75 +/- 4 beats/min to 76 +/- 4 beat/min; P = 0.9), stroke volume (115 +/- 17 to 113 +/- 13; P = 0.9), and cardiac output (8.0 +/- 1 l/m to 8.0 +/- 1l/m; P = 0.8) did not change significantly after spinal anesthesia. Phenylephrine was effective at restoring systolic blood pressure after spinal anesthesia (120 +/- 6 mmHg to 144 +/- 5 mmHg; P < 0.001) but was associated with a decrease in heart rate from 80 +/- 5 beats/min to 60 +/- 4 beats/min (P < 0.001) and in cardiac output from 8.6 +/- 0.7 l/m to 6.2 +/- 0.7 l/m (P < 0.003). Epinephrine was effective at restoring systolic blood pressure after spinal anesthesia (119 +/- 5 mmHg to 139 +/- 6 mmHg; P < 0.001) and was associated with an increase in stroke volume from 114 +/- 12 ml to 142 +/- 17 (P < 0.001) and cardiac output from 7.8 +/- 0.6 l/m to 10.8 +/- 1.1 l/m (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Epinephrine management of tetracaine spinal-induced hypotension increases heart rate and cardiac output and restores systolic arterial pressure but does not restore mean and diastolic blood pressure. Phenylephrine management of tetracaine spinal-induced hypotension decreases heart rate and cardiac output while restoring systolic, mean, and diastolic blood pressure.

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This article was published in Anesthesiology and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research

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