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In British journal of anaesthesia ; h5-index 72.0

BACKGROUND : The majority of postoperative patients report moderate to severe pain, possibly related to opioid underdosing or overdosing during surgery. Objective guidance of opioid dosing using the Nociception Level (NOL) index, a multiparameter artificial intelligence-driven index designed to monitor nociception during surgery, may lead to a more appropriate analgesic regimen, with effects beyond surgery. We tested whether NOL-guided opioid dosing during general anaesthesia results in less postoperative pain.

METHODS : In this two-centre RCT, 50 patients undergoing abdominal surgery under fentanyl/sevoflurane anaesthesia were randomised to NOL-guided fentanyl dosing or standard care in which fentanyl dosing was based on haemodynamics. The primary endpoint of the study was postoperative pain assessed in the PACU.

RESULTS : Median postoperative pain scores were 3.2 (inter-quartile range 1.3-4.3) and 4.8 (3.0-5.3) in NOL-guided and standard care groups, respectively (P=0.006). Postoperative morphine consumption (standard deviation) was 0.06 (0.07) mg kg-1 (NOL-guided group) and 0.09 (0.09) mg kg-1 (control group; P=0.204). During surgery, fentanyl dosing was not different between groups (NOL-guided group: 6.4 [4.2] μg kg-1vs standard care: 6.0 [2.2] μg kg-1, P=0.749), although the variation between patients was greater in the NOL-guided group (% coefficient of variation 66% in the NOL-guided group vs 37% in the standard care group).

CONCLUSIONS : Despite absence of differences in fentanyl and morphine consumption during and after surgery, a 1.6-point improvement in postoperative pain scores was observed in the NOL-guided group. We attribute this to NOL-driven rather than BP- and HR-driven fentanyl dosing during anaesthesia.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION : www.trialregister.nl under identifier NL7845.

Meijer Fleur, Honing Maarten, Roor Tessa, Toet Samantha, Calis Paul, Olofsen Erik, Martini Chris, van Velzen Monique, Aarts Leon, Niesters Marieke, Boon Martijn, Dahan Albert

2020-Sep-16

nociception, nociception level-guided anaesthesia, opioid, postoperative pain, stress hormones