BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Although epidural analgesia is still regarded as the gold standard for labour analgesia due to its efficacy, in cases of contraindication, systemic remifentanil is an alternative. Since the first demonstration of the safety of remifentanil in obstetric analgesia in 1996, this has been repeatedly confirmed for both mother and newborn. The aim of this meta-analysis is to evaluate recently published studies (up to December 2014) on the analgesic efficacy of remifentanil during labour (as a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) decrease in the first hour by 2 or more). METHODS: Search of the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (www.pubmed.gov), SCOPUS database (www.scopus.com) and Web of Science database (www.webofknowledge.com) using the key words "labour" and "remifentanil". 44 identified articles were included in the review and 15 published randomised controlled studies were incorporated into the meta-analysis. This was based on the fixed model and described by differences in the VAS between t=0 and t=1 hour after remifentaniladministration using the 95% confidence interval (CI). The analysis was computed using the Comprehensive meta-analysis version 2.2.064. RESULTS: The combined data from the meta-analysis showed a statistically significant decrease in VAS in the remifentanil group. From a comparison of the CIs of summary estimates with a cut-off decrease of VAS 2, for the fixed model, there was a statistically significantly greater decrease in VAS than the cut-off. In the systematic review, we describe possible modes of application, dosage and side-effects for mother, fetus/ newborn. CONCLUSION: The meta-analysis presented here confirms that remifentanil for labour analgesia is effective but questions remain which can only be answered by further randomized trials.
KEYWORDS: labour analgesia; meta-analysis; patient-controlled analgesia; remifentanil; systemic opioid analgesia
Labour is thought to be one of the most intense and painful experiences in a woman's life. Numerous studies using a Visual Analogue Scale invariably demonstrate that 20% of women in labour describe the pain as "unbearable" and 60% describe the pain as "very intense". Since the mid-1980s, continuous epidural analgesia during labour has been considered the gold standard of labour anaesthesia and is currently the most frequently used. There are situations in which this type of analgesia could not be used. An alternative pain management is administration of parenteral opioids, the most frequently used of which is pethidine. Its use is associated with adverse effects and unsatisfactory analgesia. Since the second half of the 20th century, a new generation of opioids, such as fentanyl or remifentanil, has been used. Despite their much better pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters, obstetricians, midwives and neonatologists are most aware of pethidine, probably because it has been used for the longest period of time, despite its disadvantages and the risk that its use entails. The drug that is nearest to ideal is remifentanil. The countries in which it is widely used as an alternative type of labour anaesthesia have developed practice standards or guidelines practice. Guidelines and alternatives to pethidine protocols for effective labour analgesia in Poland might be merited.
BMC Anesthesiol. 2015 Mar 26;15:38. doi: 10.1186/s12871-015-0020-1. eCollection 2015.
BACKGROUND: Remifentanil has been suggested for its short duration of action to replace standard opioids for induction of general anaesthesia in caesarean section. While the stabilizing effect of remifentanil on maternal circulation has been confirmed, its effect on postnatal adaptation remains unclear, as currently published studies are not powered sufficiently to detect any clinical effect of remifentanil on the newborn. CONCLUSION: At a dose of 1 μg/kg, remifentanil prior to induction of general anaesthesia increases the risk of neonatal respiratory depression during first minutes after caesarean delivery but duration of clinical symptoms is short.
KEYWORDS: Caesarean delivery; General anaesthesia; Neonatal effect; Remifentanil