Methods: Thirty-two patients undergoing elective AH were randomised into Group ITM (ITM 0.2 mg + 2.5 mL 0.5% bupivacaine) (n = 16) and Group EB (0.25% bupivacaine bolus + continuous infusion of 0.1% bupivacaine-fentanyl 2 μg/mL) (n = 16).The procedure was performed before induction, and all patients subsequently received standard general anaesthesia. Both groups were provided patient-controlled analgaesia morphine (PCAM) as a backup. Visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, total morphine consumption, hospital stay duration, early mobilisation time and first PCAM demand time were recorded.
Results: The median VAS score was lower for ITM than for EB after the 1st hour [1.0 (IqR 1.0) versus 3.0 (IqR 3.0), P < 0.001], 8th hour [1.0 (IqR 1.0) versus 2.0 (IqR 1.0), P = 0.018] and 16th hour [1.0 (IqR1.0) versus (1.0 (IqR 1.0), P = 0.006]. The mean VAS score at the 4th hour was also lower for ITM [1.8 (SD 1.2) versus 2.9 (SD 1.4), P = 0.027]. Total morphine consumption [11.3 (SD 6.6) versus 16.5 (SD 4.8) mg, P = 0.016] and early mobilisation time [2.1 (SD 0.3) versus 2.6 (SD 0.9) days, P = 0.025] were also less for ITM. No significant differences were noted for other assessments.
Conclusions: The VAS score was better for ITM than for EB at earlier hours after surgery. However, in terms of acceptable analgaesia (VAS ≤ 3), both techniques were comparable over 24 hours.