TAP Catheters Versus Intrathecal Morphine for Cesarean Section

Conditions:Post-Surgical Pain
Therapuetic Areas:Musculoskeletal
Age Range:18 - 45
Start Date:May 2012
Contact:Vlad Frenk, MD
Phone:203 276-7490

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Quality of Recovery Following Administration of Transverse Abdominus Plane (TAP) Catheter as Compared to Intrathecal Morphine After Cesarean Delivery Under Spinal Anesthesia: a Prospective, Randomized Trial

Morphine, when given as part of spinal anesthesia, is associated high incidence of nausea
and pruritus, which may affect quality of recovery. The investigators hypothesize that
long-acting local anesthetic infusions via TAP catheter can provide better quality of
recovery after cesarean section than spinal morphine.

This study is a prospective, open, randomized study. Subjects will be randomized using a
computer-generated table of random numbers into 2 groups. The first group will receive
intrathecal morphine as part of a spinal anesthetic. The second group will receive an
ultrasound-guided bilateral TAP catheter at the end of the procedure, while the subject is
still under the effect of spinal anesthetic. Group assignments will be sealed in
sequentially numbered, opaque envelopes that would be opened by an anesthesiologist
performing the cesarean section. The research nurse or one of the investigators, not
involved with patient care after the subject signed written informed consent, will provide
postoperative data collection.

All patients will be pre-hydrated with 1000ml of Lactated Ringer's solution. They will then
be brought to the OR and without premedication receive a spinal anesthetic in a sitting
position. The spinal anesthetic will be administered at either L3-4 or L4-5 level with 24G
Sprotte needle and contain 1.4ml of 0.75% hyperbaric bupivacaine. As per protocol, the first
group would receive 0.3mg of preservative-free morphine, mixed in the same syringe. All the
subjects then will be immediately placed in supine position with left uterine displacement,
and supplemental oxygen 4L/min will be administered via nasal cannula for the duration of
procedure. After a successful spinal anesthetic is confirmed by loss of sensation to
pinprick, cesarean section will be performed. Intraoperative hypotension will be treated
with IV fluids, as well as intermittent boluses of IV ephedrine or IV neosynephrine as
needed to keep SBP>100mm Hg. Intraoperative nausea will be treated with IV ondansetron as

At the end of the procedure, the second group will receive ultrasound guided TAP catheter
using a linear 6-15MHz ultrasound probe on a portable ultrasound machine (SonoSite, Bothell,
WA) as previously described (Hebbard P, 2007). Each catheter will be dosed with 20ml of
Ropivacaine 0.5% at that time. Double lumen OnQ C-block pump (I-Flow, LLC, Lake Forest, CA)
containing 700 ml of the Ropivacaine 0.2% will be attached to the TAP catheters in the
recovery room. The time that this occurs will be recorded in the eMAR. The catheters will
run at 7cc/hr/side for 50 hrs.

In the recovery area, the patient will be asked to rate their pain at rest, nausea, and
pruritus upon arrival and at regular intervals as per routine care. The pain will be rated
on a 0 to 10 numeric rating scale (NRS), where 0 means no pain and 10 is the worst pain
imaginable. Fentanyl 50 mg IV will be administered every 5 minutes to maintain an NRS pain
score <4 of 10. Nausea will be rated on a 0 to 2 scale (0 = no nausea and vomiting, 1 = mild
to moderate nausea or vomiting not needing treatment, and 2 = severe nausea or vomiting
needing treatment). It will be treated with 4mg IV ondansetron, if necessary. The presence
of pruritus and whether the treatment is desired will be assessed on a 0 to 2 scale (0= no
pruritus, 1= mild pruritus not requiring treatment, 2= moderate pruritus requiring treatment
or severe pruritus). Pruritus will be treated with IV diphenhydramine 25 mg if the subject
weighs less than 150lbs and 50mg if the subjects weighs more than 150lbs. Upon transfer to
the maternity floor, the nurses will ask the subjects to rate their pain at rest, nausea,
and pruritus as part of usual care, upon arrival and every 4 hours for 48 hours as described
above. The answers will be recorded on a data collection too. For the following 48 hours,
the patient will be treated as follows: nausea will be treated with 25 mg IV promethazine
followed by 4mg IV ondansetron if necessary every 6 hours. Pruritus will be treated with
IV/PO diphenhydramine 25 mg if the subject weighs less than 150lbs and 50mg if the subject
weighs more than 150lbs every 6 hours if necessary. Pain will be treated with SQ morphine
(4mg for NRS pain 3-4, 6 mg for NRS pain 4-7, 8mg for NRS pain >7) every 4 hours as
requested and 30mg IV ketorolac every 6 hours until subjects start eating. Once the subject
tolerate diet, their pain will be treated with 800 mg PO ibuprofen every 6 hours and a
combination of oxycodone 5mg and acetaminophen 325mg PO every 4 hours as requested (1 tab
for NRS pain 4-7, 2 tabs for NRS pain >7).

Inclusion Criteria:

- Patients age 18 - 45 years of age undergoing cesarean section under spinal

- Ability to read and write English

Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients undergoing other concomitant procedure

- Patients with history of diabetes or chronic steroid use

- Patients with chronic or recent (within 1 week prior to procedure) opioid use.

- Patients without the mental capacity to consent for the procedure/study.

- Patients requiring a translator in order to sign the consent for the procedure/study.

- Patients with a history of allergic reactions to local anesthetics
We found this trial at
Stamford, Connecticut 06904
Stamford, CT
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