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Reduced Sufentanil Doses are Effective for Postoperative Analgesia After Ductal Closure in Extremely Premature Infants: A 10 Years Retrospective Cohort Study

Soreze, Yohan MD*; Audureau, Etienne MD, PhD; Decobert, Fabrice MD*,‡; Jaby, Olivier MD§; Blary, Sabine MD; Danan, Claude MD*,‡; Durrmeyer, Xavier MD, PhD*,¶

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000487
Original Articles

Objectives: The objective of the study was to assess the efficacy of reduced sufentanil doses for postoperative analgesia following surgical ductal closure in extremely premature infants.

Methods: This was a retrospective, single-center, cohort study comparing 2 sufentanil dosing regimens used between 2001 and 2010 and included all infants born at <28 weeks of gestation with surgical ductal closure. Sufentanil doses were reduced in 2007 as a standard of care. Time was divided into 3 epochs to distinguish the effects of practice changes over time from the effects of sufentanil dose change: epoch 1 (2001 to 2004), epoch 2 (May 2005 to 2007), and epoch 3 (June 2007 to 2010).

Results: A total of 109 of 114 eligible infants were analyzed (mean [±SD], gestational age: 25.1 [±1.1] wk; mean [±SD], birth weight: 756 [±144] g). Median sufentanil doses were significantly higher during epochs 1 and 2 (0.1 to 0.2 µg/kg/h) than during epoch 3 (0.03 to 0.04 µg/kg/h) (P<0.0001). EDIN (Echelle de Douleur et d’Inconfort du Nouveau-né) pain scores were mostly ≤4 throughout the study period and their changes over time were not contemporaneous with the reduction in sufentanil doses; they were lower during epoch 1 versus epochs 2 and 3 (P<0.0001) and comparable between epochs 2 and 3. Midazolam doses and paracetamol use were not higher during epoch 3 as compared with epochs 1 and 2. No difference in opioid-related adverse events was observed between the 3 epochs.

Conclusion: Our study supports the use of low continuous intravenous sufentanil doses, consistent with morphine doses currently recommended in this population.

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Clinical Research Centre

Departments of §Paediatric Surgery

Paediatric Anaesthesia, Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal de Créteil

Public Health Department, Hôpital Henri Mondor, UPEC, Créteil

Inserm UMR 1153, Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team (Epopé), Center for Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cité, DHU Risks in pregnancy, Paris Descartes University, Paris, France

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Xavier Durrmeyer, MD, PhD, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Neonatology, CHI de Créteil, 40, avenue de Verdun, Créteil 94000, France (e-mail:

Received July 12, 2016

Received in revised form December 4, 2016

Accepted January 27, 2017

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.