Last updated on February 2018

Comparison of Patient Controlled & Continuous Epidural Analgesia in Thoraco-abdominal Surgeries in Cancer Patients

Brief description of study

This study aims to compare the efficacy of pain control, the consumption of local anesthetic and opioids, side effects, and patient satisfaction between continuous epidural infusion and patient controlled epidural analgesia after thoraco-abdominal surgeries in cancer patients.

Detailed Study Description


  1. To compare the pain scores during rest and movement with continuous epidural infusion (CEI) vs. patient controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA)
  2. To compare the incidence of side effects between 2 groups
  3. Comparison of local anaesthetic and opioids requirement by PCA attempts and also rescue analgesia requirement.
  4. To compare patient satisfaction with the two different modalities of pain management

Sample size- Based on our hospital data for postoperative pain management after thoraco-abdominal surgeries, it was found that 69.7 % patients experience moderate to severe pain (pain score 4-10) on first day postoperatively.

Considering a 50% reduction as meaningful, group sample size of 62 with 31 in each group was calculated using a chi square test. Assuming a 10% loss to follow up or drop outs from study we require 35 in each group with total sample size of 70.

Variables- age, sex, demographic factors, surgery, duration of surgery, pain score, nausea score, hypotension episode, pruritis, Vomiting episode, patients satisfaction score, requirement of rescue analgesia.

Analysis of variables:

Descriptive statistics will be used for data representation. The 2 and Fisher's exact probability tests will be used to analyze the differences between qualitative data. Comparisons of two groups will be analyzed using the Independent sample t test or Mann-Whitney U test as per the distribution of data. A P-value less than 0.05 will be considered statistically significant. Patient satisfaction using verbal rating scale will be analysed using Mann-Whitney U test.

Methodology- Patient meeting inclusion criteria, 4 hours after surgery will be reassessed in absence of any post-operative exclusion criteria, patient will be randomized into either group as per a computer generated chart and study will start from this time.

Postoperative group A will receive continuous epidural infusion at rate of 5-8 ml /hr based on maximum allowable safe dose as per body weight[10]. The Patient Controlled Analgesia settings will be set at 0.1 ml per bolus with lockout interval of 20 minutes.

Group B will receive patient controlled epidural analgesia in form of Patient Controlled analgesia pumps with continuous rate of 5-8ml/hour & demand dose of 2-3 ml p.r.n with a lock out interval of 20 minutes based on maximum allowable safe dose as per body weight . Both the groups will have a cross over at 36 hours postop.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02803385

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