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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 463-466 Table of Contents     

Postoperative Analgesia in Children- Comparative Study between Caudal Bupivacaine and Bupivacaine plus Tramadol

1 Specialist & HOD, Dept.of Anaesthesiology, ESIC Hospital, Noida - 201301, India
2 Anaesthesiologist, Dept.of Anaesthesiology, ESIC Hospital, Noida - 201301, India

Date of Web Publication3-Mar-2010

Correspondence Address:
Sambrita Mukherjee
Anaesthesiologist, Dept.of Anaesthesiology, ESIC Hospital, Noida - 201301
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20640209

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Thirty children, ASAI-II, aged between 2yrs-5yrs, undergoing sub umbilical operation (inguinal and penile surgery) were selected for this double blind study. They were randomly divided in two groups, group Aand group B. Group A(n15) received 0.25%bupivacaine 0.5ml.kg -1 and Group B (n=15) received 0.25% bupivaeaine 0.5ml.kg -1 and tramadol 2mg.kg -1 as single shot caudal block. Postoperative pain was assessed by a modified TPPPS (Toddler­Preschool Postoperative Pain Scale) and analgesic given only when the score was more than 3. In the first 24 hrs it was observed that the mean duration of time interval between the caudal block and first dose of analgesic was significantly long(9. lhrs) in Group B as compared to Group A (6.3hrs) which was much shorter(p<0.01).There was no significant haemodynamie changes, motor weakness or respiratory depression in both groups. This study con­cluded that addition of tramadol 2mg.kg -1 to caudal 0.25% bupivacaine 0.5ml.kg -1 significantly prolong the duration of postoperative analgesia in children withoutprodueing much adverse effects.

Keywords: Caudal analgesia, Bupivacaine, Tramadol

How to cite this article:
Doda M, Mukherjee S. Postoperative Analgesia in Children- Comparative Study between Caudal Bupivacaine and Bupivacaine plus Tramadol. Indian J Anaesth 2009;53:463-6

How to cite this URL:
Doda M, Mukherjee S. Postoperative Analgesia in Children- Comparative Study between Caudal Bupivacaine and Bupivacaine plus Tramadol. Indian J Anaesth [serial online] 2009 [cited 2021 Jun 20];53:463-6. Available from: https://www.ijaweb.org/text.asp?2009/53/4/463/60318

   Introduction Top

The society of Paediatric Anaesthesia [1] , on it's 15 th annual meeting at New Orleans, Louisiana (2001) clearly definedthe alleviation of pain as a"basic human right", irrespective ofage, medical condition, treatment, primary service response for the patient care or medi­cal institution. Finely et al [2] observed that many types of so called "minor" surgery (e.g. circumcision) can cause significant pain in children.

The goal of post operative pain relief is to reduce orehminate pain with minimum side-effects and in our setup as cheaply as possible. Effective pain relief means asmooth postoperative period, increased patient com­pliance and an early discharge from hospital. Langlade et al [3] suggested thatthe postoperative pain treatment mustbe included in the anaesthetic planning even be­fore induction of anaesthesia, adopting the idea of 'man­aging pain before it occurs'.

Over the years various regional anaesthetic pro­cedures has gained popularity forpostoperative anal­gesia because in addition to providing effective post­operative pain relief, they also reduce the requirement of general anaesthesia intraoperatively without signifi­cant side-effects and maintaining a smooth intra and postoperative period. Caudalblockhas proved useful in a variety of subumbilical operations [4] in children for providing both intra operative and post operative anal­gesia. Objective ofpresent study was to compare the quality and duration of analgesia, after a single shot caudal blockwith bupivacaine alone and bupivacaine plus tramadol, and thereby try to find out whether tramadol can be an effective adjuvantto bupivacaine for providingpostoperative analgesia in children un­dergoing subumbilical surgeries.

   Methods Top

After obtaining institutional approval and paren­tal written unformed consent, thirty children aged be­tween 2-5yrs, weighing between 10-18 Kg and of ASA I and II physiologic status were enrolled for the study. These patients were scheduled for sub-umbilical surgeries like herniotomy and penile surgery under general anaesthesiaby asingle surgeon. The patients were randomly allocated in two groups.

Group Areceived single shot caudal block with 0.25% bupivacaine 0.5ml.kg -1 and Group B received 0.25% bupivacaine 0. 5ml.kg -1 plus tramadol 2mg.kg -1 , after induction of anaesthesia. Any children having al­lergy to bupivacaine or any contraindication to neuraxial blockade were excluded from the study.

The patients were induced with halothane and 50% nitrous oxide in oxygen inhalation via face mask. Intravenous cannulation was done using 22G cannula, then atropine 0.02mg.kg -1 , ondansetron 0.lmg.kg - l and midazolam 0. lmg.kg -1 were given i.v as premedica­tion. After induction, caudal block was then given in right lateral position by a 22G needle under aseptic con­dition. Syringes containing an equal volume of either 0.25% bupivacaine 0.5m1.kg 1 or 0.25% bupivacaine 0.5ml.kg -1 plus tramadol 2mg.kg -1 wereprepared and given to the investigator who was blinded to the identity of drug(s).He gave the caudal blocks. Then the sur­gery was continued under inhalational anaesthesia via mask. Intraoperative heartrate, respiratory rate, blood pressure (NIBP) and oxygen saturation (SpO2) was monitored. After recovery from general anaesthesiathe patient was shifted to PACU and his vitals and pain was assessed by a 10-point TPPS score [5] [Table 1] by a blinded investigator .The child's motor power, any side-effects and sedation score(0=Eyes open, l= Eyes open to speech, 2=Eyes open when shaken, 3= unrousable) was also noted. Assessment was done every 5-min for the first 30-min, then every 15-min for next lhr, then hrly fornext 2 his andthen at 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 18 and 24hr by the same blinded investigator.

Data Processing

ANOVAiwith multiple comparisons was used for comparisons between the groups. Using Chi squared (X2)test compared the non-parametric data. p<0.p5 was regarded as statistically significant.

   Results Top

The two groups were comparable in age, weight and duration of surgery[Table 2].

While comp aringthe quality of postoperative an­algesia between the two groups it was seen that theGroup A started having mild pain after 3hrs and the pain was significant after 6hrs whereas in Group B the child was pain free for almost 5 his and started having significant pain after 8 his which needed analgesic supplementation with syrup Paracetamol at the dose of 10 mg.kg -1 . Significant pain is described as one that has apain score of more than 3 [Table 3].

When pain score was plotted against time in a graph, it was seen thatthe score was 0 upto 2 his and then started to increase and reached a score of 3 only after 9 hrs in Group B ,where as in Group Athe pain score started to attain 3 after 6 hrs.[Figure 1].

It was also seen that the children in Group A needed more doses of paracetamol syrup in fast 24 hrs than Group B [Table 4].

The vitals of patients in both groups remain stable during operation and the incidences of emergence agi­tation were much less in both groups ratherthan the patients undergoing surgery under general anaesthesia without caudal block.

There was no major difference m sedation score between the two groups after recovery. 13.3% patients in Group A and 6.6% in Group B developed motor weakness. It was also observed that incidences of postoperative urinary retention was 20% in Group A and 13.3% in Group B. Nausea and vomiting was slightly more in Group B (26.67%)than Group A(20%), [Table 5].

   Discussion Top

Ease of p erformance and reliability makes caudal blockthe most commonly performed block in children. Caudal administration ofbupivacaine is a widespread regional anaesthetic technique for ultra- and postop­erative analgesia during lower limb, anoperineal, penos crotal and abdominal surgical procedures in chil­dren [6],[7],[8] . Tramadol is a centrally acting opioid analgesic, used for treatingmoderate to severe pain. It is a syn­thetic agent, made of racemic mixture of two enanti­omers- (+)tramadol and (-) tramadol and it appears to have actions at the µ opioid receptor as well as the noradrenergic and serotonergic systems [9] . Tramadolwas developed by the German pharmaceutical company GrunenthalGmbH in the late 1970s andmarketed un­derthe trade name Tramal. As an analgesic it's equi­potent to meperidine without any respiratory depres­sant action. The most commonly reported adverse drug reactions are nausea, vomiting, sweating and constipa­tion. Drowsiness is reported, although it is less of an issue than for opioids.

In our study, we found that by adding tramadol 2mg.kg -1 to caudalbupivacaine (0.025%) 0.5ml.kg -1 in children undergoing sub-umbilical operation, signifi­cantly increased the duration ofpain free period post­operatively. Similar results were reported by Gune et al [10] during a study ofchildren undergoing hypospadias repair showedthat caudaltramadol provides betterand longerlasting postoperative analgesiathan i.v tramadol Sendl et al [11] in a study on children undergoing herniorrhaphy showed that, caudal administration of bupivacaine with the addition of tramadol resulted in superior analgesiawith alonger period without demand for additional analgesics compared with caudal bupivacaine and tramadol alone without an increase of side effects. The incidence of emergence agitation, which is frequently seen during recovery from inhala­tional anaesthesia in children, were much less in chil­dren with preoperative caudal block in both groups and it was more less in Croup B and this is supported by a previous study of Weldon et al [12] who reported that effective postoperative analgesia may reduce the inci­dence of emergence agitation with sevoflurane anaes­thesia. The degree of sedation was comparable m two groups. The potency of single shot caudal bupivacaine was increased by addition oftramadol because in our set up it was neithertechnically possible norcost effec­tive to use caudal ep idural catheter and maintain post­operative analgesia with bup ivacaine alone. A prolong and effective postoperative analgesia to children means a cooperative child with less emotional and haemodynamic stress and rapid recovery with less hos­pital stay. Mean duration of postoperative analgesia with caudal bupivacaine was 6.3 his whereas with addition of tramadol it increased up to 9.1 his, without increas­ingthe dose as wellas the side effects of bupivacaine as it was shown in various studies [13],[14] . A higher dose of tramadol could have caused nausea and vomiting whereas increasingthe dose of bupivacaine could have caused more motor weakness and urinary retention. [15]

Our study concluded that caudal administration oftramadol 2mg.kgi along with 0.25% bupivacaine 0.5ml.kg -l significantly increased the duration and quality ofpostoperative analgesia in children undergoing sub­umbilical operation, without producing significant ad­verse effects.

   References Top

1.Frank HK. The society of Paediatric Anaesthesia: 15 th annual meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana. Anaesthesia. Aanalgesia 2002;94: 1661-1668.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Finley GA, Mc Granth PJ, Forward SP, et al. Parents management of children pain following "minor" surgery.Painl 996;64:83-87.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Langlade A, Kriegel I Treatment of acute postopera­tivepainAnn Chir 1997 51:1013-1021.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Morgan GE, Mikhail MS. Pediatric Anaesthesia. In: Morgan GE, Mikhail MS, ed. Clinical Anaesthesiology Appleton&Large 1996; 726-742.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Prosser DP, Davis A, Booker PD, Hurray A. Caudal tramadol for postoperative analgesia in paediatric hy­pospadias surgery. Br JAnaesth 1997; 79:293-296.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Dalens B, Hasnaoui A Caudal anesthesia in paediatric surgery: success rate and adverse effects in 750 con­secutive patients. AnesthAnalg 1989; 68:83-89.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Yasterlvi, Maxwell LG Paediatric regional anaesthesia. Anesthesiology 1989; 70:324-338.  Back to cited text no. 7      
8.Wolf AR, Valley RD, Fear DW, Roy WI, Lerman J. Bupivacainefor caudal analgesia in infants and children : The optimal effective concentration. Anesthesiology 1988;69:102-106.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.RaffaRB, Friderichs E, ReimannV et al. Complemen­tary and synergistic antinociceptive interaction between the enantiomers of Tramadol. J Pharmaco 1 Exp Ther 1993; 267;331-310.  Back to cited text no. 9      
10.Gune Y Gunduz M Unlugene H, et al . Comparison of caudal vs intravenous tram adol administered either pre­operatively or postoperatively for pain relief in boys. Paediatric Anaesthesia 2004;14:324-328.  Back to cited text no. 10      
11.Sendl AC, AkyolA, Dohman D, etal. Caudal bupivacain­tramadol combination for postoperative analgesia in paediatric herniorrhaphy. Acta Anaesthesi o logi ca Scandinavica 2001;45 :786-789.  Back to cited text no. 11      
12.Weldon BC, Bell M, Craddock T. The effect of caudal analgesia on emergence agitation in children. Anesth Ana1g 2004 98 :321-326.  Back to cited text no. 12      
13.GunduzM, OzcengizD, OzbekH. Acomptarisonof single dose caudal tramadol, tramadol plus bupivacaine and bupivacaine administration for postoperative analgesia in children Paediatric anaesthesia 2001;11:323-32.  Back to cited text no. 13      
14.Ozkan S ,Pocan S, BaharA, et al .The effect of caudal bupivacaine vs tramadol in posoperative analgesia in paediatric patients. The Journal of International Medi­cal Research2003; 31:497-502.  Back to cited text no. 14      
15.Nagiub M, SharifAM, Seraj Iv1 ElGammal lv1, Dawlatly AA Ketamine for caudal analgesia in children: com­parison with caudal bupivacaine. Br J Anaesth 1991; 67:559-564.  Back to cited text no. 15      


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]


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