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    The role of thoracic epidural anesthesia in severe acute pancreatitis. Harper Daniel,McNaught Clare E Critical care (London, England) In animal studies of severe acute pancreatitis, thoracic epidural anesthesia appears to enhance the splanchnic circulation, improve end-organ perfusion, and favorably influence mortality. The application of thoracic epidurals in the critically ill human patient is less clear. Methodological difficulties in reliably assessing mesenteric flow have hampered progress, and clinical concerns surrounding this potentially attractive therapeutic modality remain unanswered. Future research needs to focus on the impact of epidural anesthesia on basic human physiological parameters to help direct further randomized studies in human disease. 10.1186/cc13718
    Intestinal effects of thoracic epidural anesthesia. Freise Hendrik,Fischer Lars G Current opinion in anaesthesiology PURPOSE OF REVIEW:Thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA) is most frequently used after major surgery. However, despite ongoing research, the influence of TEA on the intestinal perioperative pathophysiology is not fully understood. RECENT FINDINGS:According to recent results, the splanchnic sympathetic activity is reduced during TEA both in animal models and in clinical TEA. The splanchnic sympathetic activity during high TEA is still unknown. Intestinal perfusion effects of TEA are still unclear as the technique and extent of TEA, hemodynamic alteration and size of measurement result in--seemingly--conflicting reports. Postoperative ileus after laparotomy is ameliorated by TEA. Recent findings suggest beneficial effects also after major laparoscopic procedures. Finally, the impact of TEA on the intestinal pathophysiology in critical illness is an area of growing clinical and scientific interest, although this knowledge is just at its beginning. SUMMARY:Further research concerning the use of TEA in major laparoscopic procedures and its potential to improve or endanger anastomotic healing is warranted. The experimental studies of TEA in critical illness should be expanded. 10.1097/ACO.0b013e32832eb7e8
    Effects of thoracic epidural anesthesia on survival and microcirculation in severe acute pancreatitis: a randomized experimental trial. Bachmann Kai A,Trepte Constantin J C,Tomkötter Lena,Hinsch Andrea,Stork Jan,Bergmann Wilken,Heidelmann Lena,Strate Tim,Goetz Alwin E,Reuter Daniel A,Izbicki Jakob R,Mann Oliver Critical care (London, England) INTRODUCTION:Severe acute pancreatitis is still a potentially life threatening disease with high mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effect of thoracic epidural anaesthesia (TEA) on survival, microcirculation, tissue oxygenation and histopathologic damage in an experimental animal model of severe acute pancreatitis in a prospective animal study. METHODS:In this study, 34 pigs were randomly assigned into 2 treatment groups. After severe acute pancreatitis was induced by intraductal injection of glycodesoxycholic acid in Group 1 (n = 17) bupivacaine (0.5%; bolus injection 2 ml, continuous infusion 4 ml/h) was applied via TEA. In Group 2 (n = 17) no TEA was applied. During a period of 6 hours after induction, tissue oxygen tension (tpO2) in the pancreas and pancreatic microcirculation was assessed. Thereafter animals were observed for 7 days followed by sacrification and histopathologic examination. RESULTS:Survival rate after 7 days was 82% in Group 1 (TEA) versus 29% in Group 2: (Control) (P <0.05). Group 1 (TEA) also showed a significantly superior microcirculation (1,608 ± 374 AU versus 1,121 ± 510 AU; P <0.05) and tissue oxygenation (215 ± 64 mmHg versus 138 ± 90 mmHG; P <0.05) as compared to Group 2 (Control). Consecutively, tissue damage in Group 1 was reduced in the histopathologic scoring (5.5 (3 to 8) versus 8 (5.5 to 10); P <0.05). CONCLUSIONS:TEA led to improved survival, enhanced microcirculatory perfusion and tissue oxygenation and resulted in less histopathologic tissue-damage in an experimental animal model of severe acute pancreatitis. 10.1186/cc13142
    Thoracic epidural anesthesia: Effects on splanchnic circulation and implications in Anesthesia and Intensive care. Siniscalchi Antonio,Gamberini Lorenzo,Laici Cristiana,Bardi Tommaso,Faenza Stefano World journal of critical care medicine AIM:To evaluate the currently available evidence on thoracic epidural anesthesia effects on splanchnic macro and microcirculation, in physiologic and pathologic conditions. METHODS:A PubMed search was conducted using the MeSH database. Anesthesia, Epidural was always the first MeSH heading and was combined by boolean operator AND with the following headings: Circulation, Splanchnic; Intestines; Pancreas and Pancreatitis; Liver Function Tests. EMBASE, Cochrane library, ClinicalTrials.gov and clinicaltrialsregister.eu were also searched using the same terms. RESULTS:Twenty-seven relevant studies and four ongoing trials were found. The data regarding the effects of epidural anesthesia on splanchnic perfusion are conflicting. The studies focusing on regional macro-hemodynamics in healthy animals and humans undergoing elective surgery, demonstrated no influence or worsening of regional perfusion in patients receiving thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA). On the other hand most of the studies focusing on micro-hemodynamics, especially in pathologic low flow conditions, suggested that TEA could foster microcirculation. CONCLUSION:The available studies in this field are heterogeneous and the results conflicting, thus it is difficult to draw decisive conclusions. However there is increasing evidence deriving from animal studies, that thoracic epidural blockade could have an important role in modifying tissue microperfusion and protecting microcirculatory weak units from ischemic damage, regardless of the effects on macro-hemodynamics. 10.5492/wjccm.v4.i1.89
    Thoracic epidural anesthesia increases tissue oxygenation during major abdominal surgery. Kabon Barbara,Fleischmann Edith,Treschan Tanja,Taguchi Akiko,Kapral Stephan,Kurz Andrea Anesthesia and analgesia UNLABELLED:Intraoperative surgical stress may markedly increase adrenergic nerve activity and plasma catecholamine concentrations, which causes peripheral vasoconstriction and decreased tissue oxygen partial pressure possibly leading to tissue hypoxia. Tissue hypoxia is associated with an increased incidence of surgical wound infections. Thoracic epidural anesthesia blocks afferent neural stimuli and inhibits efferent sympathetic outflow in response to painful stimuli. Consequently, we tested the hypothesis that supplemental thoracic epidural anesthesia during major abdominal surgery improves tissue perfusion and subcutaneous oxygen tension. Thirty patients were randomly assigned to two groups: general (n = 15) or combined general and epidural anesthesia (n = 15). Anesthesia technique and fluid management were standardized. Subcutaneous tissue oxygen tension was measured continuously in the upper arm with a Clark type electrode. Data were compared with unpaired, two-tailed t-tests, Wilcoxon's ranked sum test, or repeated-measures analysis of variance and Scheffé F tests as appropriate; P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. After 60 min, intraoperative tissue oxygen tension was significantly larger during combined anesthesia than during general anesthesia (54.3 +/- 7.4 mm Hg versus 42.1 +/- 8.6 mm Hg; P = 0.0002). Subcutaneous tissue oxygen tension remained significantly higher in the combined general/epidural anesthesia group throughout the observation period. Hemodynamic responses and global oxygen variables were similar in the groups. Thoracic epidural anesthesia improved intraoperative tissue oxygen tension outside the area of the epidural block. Thus, our results give evidence that supplemental neural nociceptive block blunts generalized vasoconstriction caused by surgical stress and adrenergic responses. IMPLICATIONS:Thoracic epidural anesthesia blunts the decrease of subcutaneous tissue oxygen tension caused by surgical stress and adrenergic vasoconstriction during major abdominal surgery. Consequently, combined general and epidural anesthesia helps to provide sufficient tissue oxygenation. 10.1213/01.ane.0000087040.48267.54
    Effectiveness of thoracic epidural anesthesia in reducing morbidity and mortality in adults with acute pancreatitis: a systematic review protocol and meta-analysis. Ede Christa,Ortiz Rey,Anderson Lori R JBI evidence synthesis OBJECTIVE:The objective of this review is to evaluate the effectiveness of thoracic epidural in reducing morbidity and mortality in adults with acute pancreatitis. INTRODUCTION:Acute pancreatitis is a common disease that often results in significant morbidity and mortality. Although the use of a thoracic epidural anesthesia in patients with acute pancreatitis provides effective analgesia, there appears to be additional non-analgesic benefits associated with thoracic epidural anesthesia. INCLUSION CRITERIA:Randomized controlled trials will be sought for inclusion, but this review will also consider quasi-experimental studies, cohort studies, case-controlled studies, cross-sectional studies, and case-series studies. Studies will include patients 18 years of age and older with acute pancreatitis, with no exclusion to comorbidity. Studies published in a language other than English will be excluded unless a translated version is available. METHODS:The key databases to be searched include MEDLINE, CINAHL, OpenGrey, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Google Scholar. Studies will be assessed for inclusion by at least two independent reviewers. Included studies will be critically appraised by two independent reviewers using standardized critical appraisal instruments from JBI. Data will be extracted from studies included in the review using a standardized extraction tool. Studies will, where possible, be pooled in statistical meta-analysis using JBI SUMARI. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION NUMBER:The title of this protocol has been registered with the JBI Systematic Review Register. This manuscript has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020177756). 10.11124/JBIES-20-00119
    Thoracic epidural anesthesia reverses sepsis-induced hepatic hyperperfusion and reduces leukocyte adhesion in septic rats. Freise Hendrik,Daudel Fritz,Grosserichter Christina,Lauer Stefan,Hinkelmann Juergen,Van Aken Hugo K,Sielenkaemper Andreas W,Westphal Martin,Fischer Lars G Critical care (London, England) INTRODUCTION:Liver dysfunction is a common feature of severe sepsis and is associated with a poor outcome. Both liver perfusion and hepatic inflammatory response in sepsis might be affected by sympathetic nerve activity. However, the effects of thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA), which is associated with regional sympathetic block, on septic liver injury are unknown. Therefore, we investigated hepatic microcirculation and inflammatory response during TEA in septic rats. METHODS:Forty-five male Sprague-Dawley-rats were instrumented with thoracic epidural catheters and randomized to receive a sham procedure (Sham), cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) without epidural anesthesia (Sepsis) and CLP with epidural infusion of 15 ul/h bupivacaine 0.5% (Sepsis + TEA). All animals received 2 ml/100 g/h NaCl 0.9%. In 24 (n = 8 in each group) rats, sinusoidal diameter, loss of sinusoidal perfusion and sinusoidal blood flow as well as temporary and permanent leukocyte adhesion to sinusoidal and venolar endothelium were recorded by intravital microscopy after 24 hours. In 21 (n = 7 in each group) separate rats, cardiac output was measured by thermodilution. Blood pressure, heart rate, serum transaminase activity, serum TNF-alpha concentration and histologic signs of tissue injury were recorded. RESULTS:Whereas cardiac output remained constant in all groups, sinusoidal blood flow increased in the Sepsis group and was normalized in rats subjected to sepsis and TEA. Sepsis-induced sinusoidal vasoconstriction was not ameliorated by TEA. In the Sepsis + TEA group, the increase in temporary venolar leukocyte adherence was blunted. In contrast to this, sinusoidal leukocyte adherence was not ameliorated in the Sepsis + TEA group. Sepsis-related release of TNF-alpha and liver tissue injury were not affected by Sepsis + TEA. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates that TEA reverses sepsis-induced alterations in hepatic perfusion and ameliorates hepatic leukocyte recruitment in sepsis. 10.1186/cc7965
    Differential epidural block predicts the success of visceral block in patients with chronic visceral abdominal pain. Rizk Maged K,Tolba Reda,Kapural Leonardo,Mitchell Justin,Lopez Rocio,Mahboobi Ramatia,Vrooman Bruce,Mekhail Nagy Pain practice : the official journal of World Institute of Pain BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Differential thoracic epidural regional block, also known as a differential neural block (DNB), involves the placement of an epidural catheter placed in the thoracic epidural space to achieve appropriate anesthesia in a dermatomal distribution. This is a retrospective case series evaluating how well a DNB may predict success of subsequent visceral blockade in patients with chronic abdominal pain of visceral origin. METHODS:Of 402 patients who had a DNB performed for unexplained abdominal pain from January 2000 to January 2009, 81 patients were found to have results consistent with visceral pain and thus underwent subsequent visceral blockade. Basic demographic data, years of chronic pain, history of psychosocial issues, initial visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, pain location, and medication usage were documented in our electronic medical record database. Parameters regarding DNB and visceral blocks also were documented. Descriptive statistics were computed for all variables. The positive predictive value (PPV) for DNB for whom visceral block was successful (at least a 50% reduction in VAS) was calculated. Additionally, subjects with successful visceral blocks were compared to those with unsuccessful visceral blocks. PARTICIPANTS:All patients with chronic abdominal pain with normal gastrointestinal studies who underwent DNB. SETTING:Tertiary Outpatient Pain Management Clinic. DESIGN:  Retrospective Cohort Study. RESULTS:Mean age of patients was 46 (± 15) years, 73% were female, and median duration of pain was 5 years. 67% of subjects were taking opioid analgesics. PPV of DNB was 70.4%. Only factor found to be statistically significant with visceral block success was baseline VAS with higher scores associated with DNB predictive success (6.8 ± 1.7 vs. 5.5, 1.8; P = 0.004). Use of membrane stabilizing medications was significantly more common in subjects for whom visceral block was not successful (46% vs. 25%; P = 0.058). Area underneath curve (AUC) for VAS was found to be 0.70 (95% CI: 0.57, 0.82), which signifies fair discrimination. CONCLUSION:Differential neural block is fairly predictive of subsequent visceral block success in patients with chronic abdominal pain of visceral origin. An initial VAS ≥ 5 provides a sensitivity of 93%, which implies that VAS < 5 may predict unsuccessful visceral block. Contrarily, a value of ≥ 8 would provide a specificity of 92% and may be used to predict success of subsequent visceral block. 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2012.00548.x
    Effect of Segmental Thoracic Epidural Block on Pancreatitisinduced Organ Dysfunction: A Preliminary Study. Tyagi Asha,Gupta Yash Raj,Das Shukla,Rai Gargi,Gupta Arun Indian journal of critical care medicine : peer-reviewed, official publication of Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine Background:This preliminary randomized controlled study evaluated effect of thoracic epidural block (TEB) on progression of acute pancreatitis induced organ dysfunction/failure. Materials and Methods:Patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis, without contraindication to TEB were randomized to receive (group TE) or not receive a TEB (group NTE) (n = 16 each). For group TE, TEB was performed at T8-9 or T9-10 vertebral level, with infusion of ropivacaine (0.2%) along with fentanyl 2 µg/mL; in group NTE, intravenous morphine was used instead, both interventions titrated to NRS of <4. SOFA score was assessed daily till discharge from ICU, and aggregate SOFA calculated by summing worst scores for each of organ system during ICU stay as primary outcome measure. Other surrogate measures of patient outcome were recorded as secondary objectives. Results:Aggregate SOFA score was statistically similar between both groups (group NTE: 3 [2 - 4]; group TE: 5 [2 - 6]) ( = 0.379); but there was trend of improvement in SOFA score in group TE versus a worsening in group NTE. Duration of hospital stay, and number of patients requiring mechanical ventilation were statistically similar; mortality was insignificantly lesser for group TE (12.5% versus 6.6%; = 1.000). Fall in serum procalcitonin was significantly greater for group TE. Conclusion:Thoracic epidural was associated with insignificant clinical trend towards better organ functions and lesser mortality; along with significantly greater fall in serum procalcitonin. These are encouraging results that could guide future use of thoracic epidural in acute pancreatitis for its non-analgesic benefits. How to cite this article:Tyagi A, Gupta YR Effect of Segmental Thoracic Epidural Block on Pancreatitis Induced Organ Dysfunction: A Preliminary Study. Indian J of Crit Care Med 2019;23(2):89-94. 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23123
    Control of pain through epidural block and incidence of cardiac dysrhythmias in postoperative period of thoracic and major abdominal surgical procedures: a comparative study. de Oliveira Rohnelt Machado,Tenório Sérgio Bernardo,Tanaka Pedro Paulo,Precoma Dalton Revista brasileira de anestesiologia BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:Upper abdomen and thorax surgeries cause intense pain. Some of postoperative pain main complications are cardiocirculatory complications. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that postoperative analgesia with employment of local anesthetics plus spinal opioids may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular complications in postoperative period of patients in these conditions, comparing with classical methods of postoperative analgesia, opioids and NSAIDs, administered upon patient's demand. METHOD:Eighty adult patients, ASA I and II, without ECG alterations, were allocated into two groups of 40: Group A, patients under general anesthesia with propofol, cisatracurium and isoflurane, associated with epidural anesthesia with catheter and control of postoperative analgesia with bupivacaine and epidural morphine; and Group B, patients under general anesthesia with the same drugs and doses of A, plus postoperative analgesia carried out with NSAIDs and intravenous morphine at the end of surgery and in regular intervals. In both groups Holter was applied for 24 hours. Pain evaluation was carried out through visual analog scale. RESULTS:In pain evaluation, an evident predominance of 0 score (p<0.001) was observed in Group A and there was also reduction of blood pressure levels in postoperative period in a more accentuated way. Ventricular and supraventricular dysrhythmias were five times more frequent in Group B (p=0.00001), in which a tendency to a higher frequency of ventricular extrasystoles in age>50 years (22.2% versus 0.0%. p=0.26) was also detected. No significative difference of heart rate among groups (p>0.05) was observed. CONCLUSIONS:The best quality of analgesia in postoperative period, carried out in Group A, reduced the incidence of cardiovascular complications. 10.1016/S0034-7094(12)70098-3
    Role of thoracic epidural block in improving post-operative outcome for septic patients: a preliminary report. Tyagi Asha,Seelan Sathiya,Sethi Ashok K,Mohta Medha European journal of anaesthesiology BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:Sepsis is considered a relative contraindication for epidural blockade. Recent evidence indicates that thoracic epidural blockade may be of benefit during sepsis by improving gut perfusion. This study was planned to evaluate whether combining thoracic epidural blockade with general anaesthesia could decrease the post-operative mortality and morbidity in patients with sepsis due to perforation peritonitis. METHODS:This randomised non-blinded study included consenting adult patients of the American Society of Anesthesiologists grade II-III, undergoing emergency laparotomy for small intestinal perforation peritonitis. Severity of illness was evaluated using Mannheim Peritonitis Index, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score and clinical indicators of systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Patients were randomised into two groups depending on the anaesthetic technique [general anaesthesia combined with thoracic epidural block (group GT) and general anaesthesia (group GA), n = 33 each. The thoracic block was extended from T5 to T10 using 0.125% bupivacaine in aliquots of 2-3 ml, with 50 μg fentanyl. Post-operatively, patients were followed for occurrence of any major morbidity till discharge from hospital, and 30-day mortality. 'Major morbidity' included development of organ failure. Post-operative markers for gut motility and perfusion, that is, time to passage of flatus, stools, resumption of oral feeds and occurrence of anastomotic leak were also observed. Sample size was calculated at power of 80% and α error of 0.05, aiming to detect a decrease of 50% in the incidence of post-operative major morbidity or mortality. RESULTS:Patients in the two groups were similar with respect to demographic profile and severity of sepsis. The number of patients with major morbidity or 30-day mortality were statistically similar between the two groups (group GT, 0/33; group GA 4/33; P = 0.114). A significantly shorter time to pass stools and resume oral feeds in group GT (4 ± 2 vs. 3 ± 1 days) (P = 0.006 and 0.012, respectively) and lesser incidence of anastomotic leak (0/33 vs. 4/33; P = 0.114) showed earlier recovery of gut motility and perfusion in that group. CONCLUSION:Use of intra-operative segmental thoracic epidural blockade performed in addition to general anaesthesia suggested some benefit in improving post-operative mortality or major morbidity, but the trend was not significant, perhaps due to the small sample size. There was, however, a significantly earlier return of bowel motility and earlier discharge from hospital. 10.1097/EJA.0b013e3283416691