Study Objective To determine whether transversus abdominis plane (TAP) blocks administered in conjunction with intrathecal morphine provided superior analgesia to intrathecal morphine alone. Design Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Setting Operating room of a university hospital. Patients 51 women undergoing elective Cesarean delivery with a combined spinal-epidural technique that included intrathecal morphine. Interventions Subjects were randomized to receive a bilateral TAP block with 0.5% ropivacaine or 0.9% saline. Postoperative analgesics were administered on request and selected based on pain severity. Measurements Patients were evaluated at 2, 24, and 48 hours after the TAP blocks were performed. Verbal rating scale (VRS) pain scores at rest, with movement, and for colicky pain were recorded, as was analgesic consumption. Patients rated the severity of opioid side effects and their satisfaction with the procedure and analgesia. Main Results 51 subjects received TAP blocks with ropivacaine (n = 26) or saline (n = 25). At two hours, the ropivacaine group reported less pain at rest and with movement (0.5 and 1.9 vs 2.8 and 4.9 in the saline group [VRS scale 0 - 10]; P < 0.001) and had no requests for analgesics; there were several requests for analgesia in the saline group. At 24 hours, there was no difference in pain scores or analgesic consumption. At 48 hours, the ropivacaine group received more analgesics for moderate pain (P = 0.04) and the saline group received more analgesics for severe pain (P = 0.01). Conclusions Transversus abdominis plane blocks in conjunction with intrathecal morphine provided superior early postcesarean analgesia to intrathecal morphine alone. By 24 hours there was no difference in pain scores or analgesic consumption.
- Anesthesia: obstetrical
- Cesarean section
- Intrathecal morphine
- Transversus abdominis plane blocks: ultrasound guided
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine