Aims: Medical literature provides only scarce data about the degree of pain experienced by patients undergoing a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy (BMAB), and little is known about the factors that can modify the perception of pain. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of a combination of analgesia and anxiolysis in reducing the pain score of patients undergoing BMAB. Materials and methods: Eighty-four consecutive adult patients underwent BMAB after local anesthesia with 5 mL of lidocaine hydrochloride 1% aqueous solution in the left posterior superior iliac crest. Analgesia was obtained with acetaminophen 650 mg and oxycodone 10 mg, and anxiolysis was obtained with lorazepam 2 mg, all drugs given once orally 30 min before the procedure. We assessed the pain level with the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale, which distinguishes six levels of pain, from 0 to 5. Results: The 34 patients who received an oral administration of analgesia and anxiolysis reported pain at lower levels, i.e., in the range of 0-2, more frequently than the 50 patients who underwent BMAB without analgesia/anxiolysis (78% vs 64%, respectively). Among several predictors analyzed using a multivariate regression model, three were found to be associated with decreased pain level: the use of analgesia/anxiolysis, male sex, and increase in age (all with p values <0.05). Length of the extracted bone specimen, body mass index, and need of a spinal needle for anesthesia in obese patients did not predict for pain level. Conclusions: An oral administration of prophylactic regimen of analgesia and anxiolysis, at the above-mentioned doses, produced a statistically significant reduction of the perception of pain in patients undergoing BMAB, but its effect did not seem to provide a major and clinically significant reduction of pain level.
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