Posterior fossa surgery is commonly associated with severe postoperative pain. This study assessed the impact of ultrasound-guided greater occipital nerve (GON) block on postoperative pain and hemodynamic profiles in pediatric posterior fossa craniotomy.
Materials and Methods:
Children aged 2 to 12 years undergoing elective posterior fossa craniotomy with general anesthesia were randomly allocated to a control group receiving standard care (n=18) or a GON block group receiving standard care plus bilateral ultrasound-guided GON block (=17). Outcomes were postoperative pain assessed using the objective pain scale, time to first postoperative analgesia, intraoperative fentanyl consumption, perioperative blood pressure and heart rate, incidence of nausea and vomiting, and nerve-block-related complications.
Objective pain scale scores were lower in the GON block group than in the control group at 2, 4, 6, 8 (all P=0.0001), 12 (P=0.001), 16 (P=0.03), and 24-hour (P=0.004) postoperatively. The time to first analgesic request was 13.4±7.4 hours in the GON block group and 1.8±1.5 hours in the control group (P <0.001). Intraoperative fentanyl consumption was 2.68±0.53 μg/kg−1 in the GON block group and 4.1±0.53 μg/kg−1 in the control group (P=0.0001). Systolic blood pressure was lower in the GON block group at several intraoperative and postoperative time points, whereas heart rate was similar in the two groups at most time points. The incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting was similar between groups (P=0.38), and there were no nerve-block-related complications.
In children undergoing posterior fossa craniotomy, GON block was associated with superior quality and duration of postoperative analgesia and better hemodynamic profile compared with standard care.