Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Clinical Research

Comparison of standing stability with different doses in epidural fentanyl among post-cesarean delivery women: a prospective trial

Masayuki Oshima; Kazuyoshi Aoyama

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The study purpose was to determine the safety and efficacy of different doses of epidural fentanyl plus local anesthetics on ambulation for patients who had elective cesarean delivery.

A prospective study at a single community hospital used posturography to compute Sway area for assessment of standing stability [ISRCTN14517337]. Continuous epidural infusion of 0.2% ropivacaine containing either 2.5 mcg.mL-1 (Group 1, n = 8) or 5 mcg.mL-1 fentanyl (Group 2, n = 8) was randomly assigned to an individual and started at a rate of 5 mL.h-1 postoperatively and continued for 48 hours after cesarean delivery in addition to standing acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Posturography measured with SYMPACK™ was used to compute Sway area for investigation of standing stability. The unpaired t-test was used to compare continuous variables between groups. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to assess differences of Sway area measured repeatedly within groups.

Participants’ demographics, pain status, and leg motor function one day after cesarean delivery were not different between groups. Sway area in Group 1 was not different across three repeated measurements. Sway area of Group 2 on postoperative day 1, with epidural analgesia, was significantly higher than at the baseline (4.1 ± 2.8 vs. 3.1 ± 1.1 cm2, p < 0.05).

Because both low and high concentrations of epidural fentanyl allowed participants to ambulate with the same pain effect, the lower concentration of continuous epidural fentanyl (2.5 mcg.mL-1 at 5 mL.h-1) is warranted to avoid potential adverse events during ambulation after cesarean delivery.


Cesarean section;  Analgesia;  Epidural;  Standing position;  Postural balance;  Early ambulation


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