Ephedrine sulfate was administered to 44 healthy parturients undergoing elective repeat cesarean section under spinal anesthesia. Twenty patients received ephedrine infusion (0.01 % solution, beginning with approximately 5 mg/ min) immediately after induction of spinal anesthesia to maintain maternal systolic blood pressure between 90% and 100% of the base line systolic blood pressure (mean dose of ephedrine 31.6 mg). Twenty-four patients (control group) received 20 mg of ephedrine as an intravenous bolus, and additional 10-mg increments, if necessary, when systolic blood pressure decreased to 80% of the base line systolic blood pressure (mean dose of ephedrine 26.8 mg). In patients given the infusion, systolic blood pressure did not change significantly from the base line systolic blood pressure following spinal anesthesia (p > 0.1) and reactive hypertension did not occur. Nausea and/or vomiting occurred in nine women in the control group and one patient in the infusion group (p < 0.001). Apgar scores, fetal blood gas tensions, and time for onset of respiration were comparable in the two groups. The results suggest that prophylactic ephedrine infusion is safe and desirable in healthy parturients undergoing cesarean section under spinal anesthesia.
Reprint requests to Dr. Kang, Department of Anesthesiology, Magee-Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
© 1982 International Anesthesia Research Society