Does the addition of fentanyl to bupivacaine in caudal epidural block have an effect on the plasma level of catecholamines in children?

L. A. Gaitini, M. Somri, S. J. Vaida, B. Yanovski, G. Mogilner, E. Sabo, S. Lischinsky, A. Greenberg, N. Levy, O. Zinder

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We evaluated the effect of adding fentanyl to bupivacaine, compared with bupivacaine alone, on the stress response. The effect was evaluated by determining blood levels of epinephrine (E) and norepinephrine (NE) in pediatric patients receiving caudal epidural blocks. Sixty children, 1-8 yr of age, scheduled for elective herniorrhaphy, were randomly allocated to two groups of 30 patients each. Group A received inhaled anesthesia and caudal epidural block with bupivacaine 0.25% alone, 1.0 mL/kg. Group B received identical anesthesia; however, fentanyl 1 μg/kg was added to the bupivacaine in the caudal block. Blood samples for E and NE plasma levels were drawn at induction time (H0), at the end of surgery (H1), and in the postanesthesia care unit (H2). In both groups, there was a significant decrease in the E and NE plasma levels, when comparing H1 and H2 with H0 within the same group (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the E and NE plasma levels between the two groups at H0, H1, and H2 (P = 0.5, P = 0.12, P = 0.5, respectively). Pain scores (modified Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Pain Score) were also similar in both groups (P = 0.19). This study suggests that adding fentanyl 1 μg/kg to bupivacaine in the caudal epidural block in children does not influence plasma levels of E and NE, nor does it improve the analgesic intensity of the caudal block.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1033
Number of pages5
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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