Intrathecal tramadol versus intrathecal fentanyl for visceral pain control during bupivacaine subarachnoid block for open appendicectomy

  • JM Afolayan
  • TO Olajumoke
  • FE Amadasun
  • NP Edomwonyi
Keywords: Analgesia, appendicectomy, intrathecal opioid, spinal anaesthesia


Context: Profound side.effects following intrathecal use of local anesthetics as the sole drugs of choice make spinal anesthesia for open  appendicectomy uncommon.
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of  intra-operative analgesia produced by intrathecal tramadol and fentanyl during bupivacaine spinal anesthesia for open appendicectomy.
Settings and Design: A prospective randomized study was performed.
Materials and Methods: A total of 186 American Society of  Anesthesiologists 1 or 11 patients scheduled for emergency open  appendicectomy were analyzed. Group FB (n = 62) received intrathecal fentanyl 25 µg plus 3 ml of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine, Group SB (n = 62) received 0.5 ml normal saline plus 3 ml of 0.5% hyperbaric  bupivacaine and Group TB (n = 62) received intrathecal tramadol 25 mg plus 3 ml of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine. Visual analog scale scores and frequency of subjective symptoms among patients in the three groups formed the primary outcome measure of this study.
Results: Effective intraoperative sensory block was achieved in 100% of patients in group FB and TB while 29 (46.8%)
patients in group SB had ineffective sensory block (P = 0.0001). The pain free period was significantly longer in patients in
Group FB than Group SB and TB. Mean time for Group FB with regard to first analgesic request was 304.73 ± 67.91 min,
Group SB was 146.59 ± 36.62 and Group TB was 238.39 ± 61.28 min. Incidence of complications were comparable
among the three groups.
Conclusion: This study showed that intrathecal tramadol (25 mg) can safely replace intrathecal fentanyl (25 ƒÊg) in the
management of visceral pain and discomfort during subarachnoid block for appendicectomy.

Key words: Analgesia, appendicectomy, intrathecal opioid, spinal anaesthesia


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eISSN: 1119-3077