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Effect of Epidural Dexmedetomidine Combined With Ropivacaine in Labor Analgesia: A Randomized Double-Blinded Controlled Study

Zhao, Yang MD; Xin, Yan MD; Liu, Yongbo MD; Yi, Xuanlong MD; Liu, Yingzhi MD

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000411
Original Articles

Background: The purpose of our study is to evaluate the effect of adding dexmedetomidine to epidural ropivacaine in patients undergoing labor epidural analgesia.

Methods: Eighty healthy women were randomly assigned to 2 groups: control group (R; n=40) received epidural 0.125% ropivacaine for labor analgesia, whereas the study group (D; n=40) received epidural 0.125% ropivacaine with dexmedetomidine in addition. The blood pressure, heart rate, and the severity of pain of the parturient was assessed, the duration of the first stage and the second stage of labor time, the rate of instrumental delivery and the rate of cesarean section were recorded. The side effects (nausea and vomiting), intensity of maternal sedation, and neonatal Apgar scores were also recorded.

Results: The visual analog scales, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rates of D group were significant lower than that of R group at most time intervals after epidural analgesia. The duration of the first and second stage of labor, the rate of instrumental delivery and cesarean section, neonatal 1- and 5-minute Apgar scores, umbilical artery pH, maternal motor blockade scores, intensity of maternal sedation, and the incidence of maternal complications did not show significant difference between 2 groups.

Conclusions: Low concentration of epidural ropivacaine (0.125%) combined with dexmedetomidine (0.5 μg/kg) reduces the feeling of pain, and does not show the problems of motor blockage, hemodynamic instability, extension of production process, and complications such as nausea and vomiting. Our study was registered with Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR-IOR-15007263).

*Department of Anesthesiology

The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University

Department of Anesthesiology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, China

Y.Z. and Y.X. carried out the acquisition, interpretation of data for the work. Y.L. and X.Y. carried out the statistical analysis. Y.L. contributed to the conception and design of the work. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Yingzhi Liu, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, No. 59 Haier Road, Laoshan District, Qingdao City, Shandong Province 266000, China (e-mail:

Received November 2, 2015

Received in revised form December 23, 2016

Accepted June 22, 2016

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