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Tuesday 07 August 2007

Prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting in children following adenotonsillectomy, using tropisetron with or without low-dose dexamethasone.

By: Liechti M, Feurer R, Gross D, Schmitz A, Stutz K, Gerber A, Weiss M.

J Anesth 2007 ;21(3):311-6

PURPOSE: Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) after adenotonsillectomy in children is, in spite of the prophylactic administration of tropisetron, still a frequent event. The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefit of the additional systemic administration of low-dose dexamethasone (0.15 mg x kg(-1)) for the prevention of PONV. METHODS: With hospital ethics committee approval, we investigated children undergoing adenotonsillectomy receiving tropisetron (0.1 mg x kg(-1); maximum dose, 2 mg) or tropisetron (0.1 mg x kg(-1); maximum dose, 2 mg) plus dexamethasone (0.15 mg x kg(-1); maximum dose, 6 mg) intraoperatively. The incidence of vomiting episodes and the need for postoperative analgesics were recorded. Patient data were analyzed using the t-test and the chi(2) test (significance level of P = 0.05). Data values are means +/- SD. RESULTS: Ninety children (39 girls and 51 boys), aged 5.6 +/- 2.8 years and weighing 21.9 +/- 8.8 kg, were enrolled in the study. The overall incidence of vomiting was 38.9% within the first 24 h (67 vomiting events) and 44.4% within 48 h postoperatively (87 vomiting events). The incidence of vomiting in the tropisetron-only group was 53.3% (24/45) at 24 h and 60% (27/45) at 48 h (24 h: P < 0.001 and 48 h: P = 0.04) and 24.4% (11/45) at 24 h and 28.9% (13/45) at 48 h in the tropisetron-dexamethasone group. The need for postoperative nalbuphine was double in patients treated with tropisetron-dexamethasone (0.61 mg +/- 0.36 mg x kg(-1) x 48 h(-1)) compared to that in patients receiving only tropisetron (0.31 mg +/- 0.28 mg x kg(-1) x 48 h(-1); P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: A low-dose bolus of dexamethasone (0.15 mg x kg(-1)) in combination with tropisetron, compared to tropisetron alone, considerably reduced the incidence of vomiting in children following pediatric adenotonsillectomy.

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