High-dose versus low-dose local anaesthetic for transversus abdominis plane block post-Caesarean delivery analgesia: a meta-analysis BRITISH JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIA Ng, S. C., Habib, A. S., Sodha, S., Carvalho, B., Sultan, P. 2018; 120 (2): 252–63


The optimal local-anaesthetic (LA) dose for transversus-abdominis-plane (TAP) block is unclear. In this meta-analysis, we aimed to determine whether TAP blocks for Caesarean delivery (CD) with low-dose (LD) LA demonstrated non-inferiority in terms of analgesic efficacy, compared with high-dose (HD) LA.A literature search was performed for randomised controlled trials examining the analgesic efficacy of TAP blocks vs control after CD. The different dosing used in these studies was classified as HD or LD (bupivacaine equivalents >50 or =50 mg per block side, respectively). The pooled results of each dose group vs control were indirectly compared using the Q test. The primary outcome was 24 h opioid consumption. Secondary outcomes included 6 and 24 h postoperative pain scores, time to first analgesia, 6 h opioid consumption, opioid-related side-effects, and maternal satisfaction.Fourteen studies consisting of 770 women (389 TAP and 381 control) were included. Compared with controls, the 24 h opioid consumption (milligram morphine equivalents) was lower in HD [mean difference (MD) 95% confidence interval (CI) -22.41 (-38.56, -6.26); P=0.007; I2=93%] and LD [MD 95% CI -16.29 (-29.74, -2.84); P=0.02; I2=98%] TAP groups. However, no differences were demonstrated between the HD and LD groups (P=0.57). There were also no differences between the HD and LD groups for the 6 h opioid consumption, time to first analgesia, 6 and 24 h pain scores, postoperative nausea and vomiting, pruritus, and maternal satisfaction.Low-dose TAP blocks for Caesarean delivery provide analgesia and opioid-sparing effects comparable with the high-dose blocks. This suggests that lower doses can be used to reduce local anaesthetic toxicity risk without compromising the analgesic efficacy.

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