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Epidural anesthesia followed by epidural analgesia produces less inflammatory response than spinal anesthesia followed by intravenous morphine analgesia in patients with total knee arthroplasty

Pelagia Chloropoulou, Christos Iatrou, Theodosia Vogiatzaki, Ioannis Kotsianidis, Grigorios Trypsianis, Christina Tsigalou, Eleftheria Paschalidou, Konstantinos Kazakos, Stavros Touloupidis, Konstantinos Simopoulos

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:73-80

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883749

Available online:

Published: 2013-01-28


Background: Anesthesia and inflammatory response have been studied in major abdominal and thoracic surgical procedures, but not in major orthopaedic reconstructive procedures such as total knee arthroplasty. Most studies have compared general anesthesia with epidural anesthesia, but none has compared epidural with spinal.
Material and Methods: In a prospective randomized study, 2 groups of patients scheduled for total knee arthroplasty for osteoarthritis were evaluated regarding the inflammatory response to 2 types of regional anesthesia. In 30 patients (Group A) with spinal anesthesia followed by intravenous morphine analgesia, and in 26 patients (Group B) with epidural anesthesia followed by epidural analgesia, the inflammatory response was assessed through the calculation of leucocyte concentration (WBC), C-reactive protein (CRP), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), interleukins (IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, IL-18), TNF-a, and leucocyte activation molecules CD11b and CD62l, in 3 blood samples (immediately before induction to anesthesia, immediately after closure of the operative wound, and at 24 hours post-operatively).
Results: The MCP-1 values showed a statistically significant increase (p<0.02) in the group of patients with spinal anesthesia. Of the leucocyte activation molecules, a high statistically significant increase was noticed in the expression of CD11b on monocytes in the sample taken 24 hours post-operatively in the patients of group A. Similarly, CD62l expression on neutrophils showed a high statistically significant reduction in the sample taken 24 hours post-operatively in the group of patients with spinal anesthesia compared to the group of patients with epidural anesthesia.
Conclusions: Our results show that epidural anesthesia followed by epidural analgesia produced less inflammatory response compared with spinal anesthesia followed by intravenous morphine analgesia in patients operated on with total knee arthroplasty, and that the most sensitive markers of those investigated were the CD11b and CD62l leucocyte activation molecules.

Keywords: Injections, Intravenous, Inflammation - pathology, Cytokines - blood, C-Reactive Protein - metabolism, Biological Markers - metabolism, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Anesthesia, Spinal, Anesthesia, Epidural, Analgesia, Epidural, Leukocytes - metabolism, Morphine - pharmacology



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