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How does dexamethasone influence surgical outcome after laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication? A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

Author(s): Schietroma M, Giuliani M, Zoccali G, Carnei F, Bianchi Z, Gleni Z, Amicucci G

Affiliation(s): Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche, Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia, Presso Ospedale San Salvatore, Universita degli Studi dell'Aquila, Edificio Delta 6, 67100, Coppito (AQ), Italy, schietroma2001@yahoo.it.

Publication date & source: 2010-08, Updates Surg., 62(1):47-54. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Laparoscopic floppy Nissen fundoplication (LFNF) is an effective treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease. The duration of convalescence, after noncomplicated LFNF, may depend on several factors of which pain, fatigue and sociocultural factors are the most important. Nausea and vomiting occur mainly on the day of operation. Glucocorticoids are well known for their analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating and antiemetic effects. We therefore undertook the present study to investigate whether preoperative dexamethasone could improve surgical outcome in patients undergoing uncomplicated laparoscopic floppy Nissen fundoplication. From March 2005 to April 2008, 82 patients were randomized to receive dexamethasone (8 mg) intravenously, 90 min before skin incision or saline (placebo). Patients received a similar standardized anesthetic, surgical and multimodal analgesic treatment. The primary end points were pain and fatigue. Preoperatively and at several times during the first 24 postoperative hours, we measured C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 and 1 (IL-6, IL-1), pain scores and nausea, and the number of vomiting episodes were registered. Dexamethasone significantly reduced postoperative levels of CRP (p = 0.01), IL-6 and IL-1 (p < 0.05), fatigue (p = 0.01) and overall pain during the first 24 postoperative hours (p < 0.05) and the total requirement of analgesic (ketorolac) (p < 0.05). Dexamethasone also reduced nausea and vomiting on the day of operation (p < 0.05). Preoperative dexamethasone (8 mg) reduced pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing uncomplicated LNF when compared with placebo.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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