Prospective Trial: Pain Management After Pectus Excavatum Repair, Epidural Versus PCA (PectusEpiPCA)

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Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas City

Status

Terminated

Conditions

Pectus Excavatum

Treatments

Other: Epidural
Other: PCA

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT01863498
12120535

Details and patient eligibility

About

Pectus excavatum, the most common chest wall deformity, occurs in roughly one in 1000 children. Operative repair of the anterior thoracic concavity has transitioned to the minimally invasive approach with substernal bar placement through small axillary incisions (Nuss procedure and multiple modifications). These procedures were quickly incorporated by high volume centers around the world including our own. The operation is certainly quicker and associated with less blood loss than the open operation, but as opposed to most minimally invasive versions of an operation, patients do not leave the hospital sooner after bar placement and experience more post-operative pain. Pain during the post-operative hospital stay is the dominant management issue after bar placement. The sparse literature on the topic has suggested that a thoracic epidural is the most effective means for attenuating the pain during the first few post-operative days. Therefore, most centers approach all patients undergoing a pectus deformity repair with an attempt at epidural placement under the assumption that this provides the most effective strategy for pain control. However, the investigators conducted a retrospective evaluation to examine the validity of this assumption and to investigate whether there is a role for a prospective study to determine the optimum post-operative pain management of these patients. The results demonstrate there was a decreased length of stay in the patients not treated with an epidural (PCA), despite no disadvantage in pain control. Further, 30% in whom an epidural was attempted, catheter placement failed. This data certainly challenges the assumption that an epidural is the optimum management for these patients, and convincingly answers the question as to whether there is a role for a prospective randomized trial.

Full description

Pectus excavatum, the most common chest wall deformity, occurs in roughly one in 1000 children.1 Operative repair of the anterior thoracic concavity has transitioned to the minimally invasive approach with substernal bar placement through small axillary incisions (Nuss procedure and multiple modifications). These procedures were quickly incorporated by high volume centers around the world including our own.2-7 The operation is certainly quicker and associated with less blood loss than the open operation, but as opposed to most minimally invasive versions of an operation, patients do not leave the hospital sooner after bar placement and experience more post-operative pain.6,7,8 Pain during the post-operative hospital stay is the dominant management issue after bar placement. The sparse literature on the topic has suggested that a thoracic epidural is the most effective means for attenuating the pain during the first few post-operative days.10-12 Therefore; most centers approach all patients undergoing a pectus deformity repair with an attempt at epidural placement under the assumption that this provides the most effective strategy for pain control.3-9, 13 However, the investigator conducted a retrospective evaluation to examine the validity of this assumption and to investigate whether there is a role for a prospective study to determine the optimum post-operative pain management of these patients.14 The investigator found length of stay was shorter with PCA and pain scores were similar. What the investigator found certainly challenges the assumption that an epidural is the optimum management for these patients, and convincingly answered the question as to whether there is a role for a prospective randomized trial. The investigator conducted the prospective, randomized trial in 110 patients.15 The investigator found the pain scores were better with epidural for the first 2 days and better with PCA the last 2 days. There was no difference in length of stay although it trended to favor PCA. Epidural group incurred far greater operation times and charges. The pragmatic interpretation was that the investigator should just use PCA. The anesthesia interpretation is that the investigator need a better epidural. Therefore, the investigator have developed a better protocol for the transition to try to improve pain control the last 2 days. Further, the investigator recognize several flaws in the last study; the investigator included patients at extremes of age which don't represent a normal course. Second, the investigator kept patients in the hospital until they had a bowel movement which may have prolonged the care unnecessarily in the PCA group. The investigator will use the same sample size as last time since the difference in length of stay the investigator were designed to detect was more than a day which is clinically relevant.

Enrollment

65 patients

Sex

All

Ages

12 to 17 years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Patients undergoing a pectus excavatum repair with bar placement.
  • Pectus patients between 12 and 17.9 years of age.

Exclusion criteria

  • Open repair
  • Re-Do operation
  • Known allergy to a pain medication in the protocol
  • Existing contraindications to epidural catheter placement
  • Requirement for 2 bars to be placed (rare)

Trial design

Primary purpose

Supportive Care

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

None (Open label)

65 participants in 2 patient groups

PCA pain control
Active Comparator group
Description:
Patients will have PCA for pain control
Treatment:
Other: PCA
Epidural pain control
Active Comparator group
Description:
Patients will have an epidural for pain control
Treatment:
Other: Epidural

Trial documents
1

Trial contacts and locations

1

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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