Combined epidural-general anaesthesia vs general anaesthesia in neonatal gastrointestinal surgery: A randomized controlled trial

Lina Gannam-Somri, Ibrahim Matter, Christopher Hadjittofi, Sonia Vaida, Husein Khalaily, Jalaa Hossein, Mostafa Somri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Post-operative ileus is a frequent complication of gastrointestinal surgery under general anaesthesia. The aim of this study was to investigate whether combined epidural-general anaesthesia is associated with expedited gastrointestinal function recovery in neonates undergoing elective gastrointestinal surgery. Methods: A randomized controlled trial including 60 neonates who underwent gastrointestinal surgery at a university hospital was performed. Thirty neonates received combined epidural-general anaesthesia (CEGA), and 30 neonates received general anaesthesia (GA) alone. The primary outcome was the post-operative time to tolerance of full enteral nutrition. The secondary outcomes were the post-operative time defaecation, the duration of nasogastric drainage, and infections. Results: After excluding two neonates from the CEGA group, where repeated attempts at epidural catheterization were unsuccessful, a total of 58 patients completed the study (CEGA: 28; GA: 30). Full enteral nutrition was tolerated earlier in CEGA vs the GA group (4.0 vs 8.0 days; P =.0001). Time to defaecation was shorter in the CEGA group (3.5 vs 5.0 days; P =.0001). Duration of nasogastric drainage was similar between groups (7.0 vs 7.0 days; P =.9502). Fewer patients in the CEGA group experienced post-operative infection (35.7% vs 60.0%; P =.038). Conclusion: Combined epidural-general anaesthesia is associated with expedited gastrointestinal function recovery and a lower infection risk after gastrointestinal surgery in neonates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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