Gastrointestinal motility may be impaired after intestinal surgery. Epidural morphine is effective in controlling postoperative pain, but can further reduce gastrointestinal motility. Here, we aimed to investigate the effects of epidural dexmedetomidine on gastrointestinalmotility in patients undergoing colonic resection. Seventy-four patients undergoing colonic resection were enrolled in this clinical trial and allocated randomly to treatment with dexmedetomidine (D group) or morphine (M group). The D group received a loading dose epidural administration of 3 ml dexmedetomidine (0.5 μg kg-1) and then a continuous epidural administration of 80 μg dexmedetomidine in 150 ml levobupivacaine (0.125%) at 3 ml h-1 for two days. TheM group received a loading dose epidural administration of 3 ml morphine (0.03mg kg-1) and then a continuous epidural administration of 4.5 mg morphine in 150 ml levobupivacaine at 3ml h-1 for two days. Verbal rating score (VRS), postoperative analgesic requirements, side effects related to analgesia, the time to postoperative first flatus (FFL) and first feces (FFE) were recorded. VRS and postoperative analgesic requirements were not significantly different between treatment groups. In contrast, the time to FFL and time to FFE were significant longer inM group in comparison to D group (P < 0.05). Moreover, patients inM group had a significantly higher incidence of nausea, vomiting, and pruritus (P < 0.05). No patients showed neurologic deficits in either group. In comparison to morphine, epidural dexmedetomidine is safe and beneficial for the recovery of gastrointestinalmotility after colonic resection when used as an adjunct with levobupivacaine for postoperative pain control.
Zeng, X. Z., Lu, Z. F., Lv, X. Q., Guo, Y. P., & Cui, X. G. (2016). Epidural co-administration of dexmedetomidine and levobupivacaine improves the gastrointestinal motility function after colonic resection in comparison to co-administration of morphine and levobupivacaine. PLoS ONE, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0146215