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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-42

Incidence and severity of pruritus in pregnant women undergoing lower-segment cesarean section under spinal anesthesia with fentanyl and bupivacaine

Department of Anesthesia and ICU, Khoula Hospital, Muscat, Oman

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed R Al-Tamimi
Department of Anesthesia and ICU, Khoula Hospital, Muscat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpn.ijpn_91_19

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Background: Regional anesthesia and analgesia are being widely used nowadays, especially for lower-segment cesarean section (LSCS). However, according to some studies, as well as our observation, there is a high incidence of pruritus among patients undergoing LSCS under regional technique as compared to nonpregnant female patients. To enhance the quality of analgesia and increase the duration of spinal anesthesia, fentanyl is often added as an adjuvant drug. Till date, only few studies have reported the incidence of pruritus among this group after spinal anesthesia with added fentanyl, but none compared it to nonpregnant patients. Aim and Objective: The primary aim of this study was to estimate the magnitude of pruritus after intrathecal fentanyl in parturient patients. The secondary objective was to establish other pathophysiological mechanisms such as patient's body habitus and sex of the baby, which might influence the incidence and severity in this population as compared to nonpregnant patients. Materials and Methods: One hundred and sixty American Society of Anesthesiologists I and II female patients aged between 18 and 45 years were divided into two equal groups. Pregnant women group underwent LSCS, while nonpregnant patients had lower limb orthopedic surgery. Spinal anesthesia was administered using 20 mcg of fentanyl with 2.5 ml of 0.5% bupivacaine. Frequency and severity of pruritus were recorded in the patients of either group. Statistical analysis of the data was done using Chi-square test and logistic regression using SPSS version 22. A P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The incidence of pruritus among pregnant women was noted to be 21.5%, which is significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that in the nonpregnant patients (3.75%). Pregnant patient's body habitus and gender of the baby were not found to influence the incidence or severity of pruritus (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Pregnancy is not only a risk factor for pruritus after intrathecal fentanyl but is also responsible for increasing the severity of pruritus.

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