Esmolol is an ultrashort β-1 receptor antagonist. Recent studies suggest a role for esmolol in pain response modulation. The authors performed a meta-analysis to determine if the intraoperative use of esmolol reduces opioid consumption or pain scores.
PubMed, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, pubget, and Google Scholar were searched. Studies were included if they were randomized, placebo- or opioid-controlled trials written in English, and performed on patients 18 years of age or older. For comparison of opioid use, included studies tracked opioid consumption intraoperatively and/or in the postanesthesia care unit. Pain score comparisons were performed during the first hour after surgery.
Seventy-three studies were identified, 23 were included in the systematic review, and 19 were eligible for 1 or more comparisons. In 433 patients from 7 trials, intraoperative esmolol decreased intraoperative opioid consumption (Standard Mean Difference [SMD], −1.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], −2.25 to −0.96; P ≤ .001). In 659 patients from 12 trials, intraoperative esmolol decreased postanesthesia care unit opioid consumption (SMD, −1.21; 95% CI, −1.66 to −0.77; P ≤ .001). In 688 patients from 11 trials, there was insufficient evidence of change in postoperative 1 hour pain scores (SMD, −0.60; 95% CI, −1.44 to 0.24; P = .163).
This meta-analysis demonstrates that intraoperative esmolol use reduces both intraoperative and postoperative opioid consumption, with no change in postoperative pain scores.
Accepted for publication August 3, 2017.
Funding: Support was provided solely from institutional and/or departmental sources of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Boston, MA.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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Address correspondence to T. Anthony Anderson, MD, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Dr, H3590A MC5640, Stanford, CA 94305. Address e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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