Urinary retention in thoracic epidural patients

Choi S, Mahon P, Awad IT. Neuraxial anesthesia and bladder dysfunction in the perioperative period: a systematic review. Can J Anaesth. 2012 Jul;59(7):681-703. Erratum in: Can J Anaesth. 2017 Dec 18. Full-text for Emory users.

Principal findings: Our search yielded 94 studies, and in 16 of these studies, the authors reported time to micturition after intrathecal anesthesia of varying local anesthetics and doses. Intrathecal injections were performed in 41 of these studies, epidural anesthesia/analgesia was used in 39 studies, and five studies involved both the intrathecal and epidural routes. Meta-analysis was not possible because of the heterogeneity of interventions and reported outcomes. The duration of detrusor dysfunction after intrathecal anesthesia is correlated with local anesthetic dose and potency. The incidence of urinary retention displays a similar trend and is further increased by the presence of neuraxial opioids, particularly long-acting variants. Urinary tract infection secondary to catheterization occurred rarely.

Conclusions: Neuraxial anesthesia/analgesia results in transient detrusor dysfunction. The duration of dysfunction depends on the potency and dose of medication used; however, it does not appear to result in significant morbidity.

Allen MS, et al. Optimal Timing of Urinary Catheter Removal After Thoracic Operations: A Randomized Controlled Study. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Sep;102(3):925-930. Full-text for Emory users.

Results: The study enrolled 374 patients, 217 men (58%) and 157 women (42%). The 247 eligible and evaluated patients, 141 (57.1%) men and 106 (42.9%) women, were a median age of 61.5 years (range, 21 to 87 years). There were no statistically significant differences in any of the preoperative or operative categories between the two groups. Median length of stay was 5 days (range, 2 to 42 days) for all patients, and there was no difference between the two groups. Postoperatively, 19 patients (7.7%) required urinary catheter reinsertion after it was removed. A significantly greater number of patients in the early removal group required reinsertion of the urinary catheter (15 [12.4%] vs 4 [3.2%]); p = 0.0065). Patients whose urinary catheter was removed within 48 hours of the operation had a much higher rate of bladder scans postoperatively (59.5% [n = 72]) and required more in-and-out catheterization than those whose urinary catheter was removed 6 hours after the epidural analgesia was discontinued (31.0% [n = 39]; p < 0.0001). The only documented urinary tract infection in the entire cohort occurred in a patient whose urinary catheter was removed within 48 hours after the operation. No urinary tract infections developed in the 126 patients whose urinary catheter remained in place until the epidural catheter was removed.

Conclusions: In a randomized control trial, patients with an epidural catheter in place after a general thoracic surgical operation have a higher rate of urinary problems when the urinary catheter is removed early, while the epidural catheter is still in place, compared with patients whose urinary catheter is removed after the epidural analgesia is discontinued.

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Perioperative morbidity in patients randomized to epidural or general anesthesia for lower extremity vascular surgery.

Christopherson R, Beattie C, Frank SM, Norris EJ, Meinert CL, Gottlieb SO, Yates H, Rock P, Parker SD, Perler BA, et al. Perioperative morbidity in patients randomized to epidural or general anesthesia for lower extremity vascular surgery. Anesthesiology. 1993 Sep;79(3): 422-34.

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Background: Perioperative morbidity may be modifiable in high risk patients by the anesthesiologist’s choice of either regional or general anesthesia. This clinical trial compared outcomes between epidural (EA) and general (GA) anesthesia/analgesia regimens in a group of patients at high risk for cardiac and other morbidity who were undergoing similarly stressful surgical procedures.

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Article of interest: Retrospective Analysis of the Incidence of Epidural Haematoma in Patients With Epidural Catheters and Abnormal Coagulation Parameters

Gulur P, et al. Retrospective analysis of the incidence of epidural haematoma in patients with epidural catheters and abnormal coagulation parameters. Br J Anaesth. 015;114(5): 808–811.

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“Results: During the study period, 11 600 epidural catheters were placed. In the setting of abnormal coagulation parameters, 278 (2.4%) epidural catheters were placed and 351 (3%) were removed. Two epidural haematomas occurred; both patients had epidural catheters and spinal drains placed for vascular procedures with abnormal coagulation parameters after operatation. The haematomas occurred after removal of the catheters. Based on our study, the incidence of epidural haematoma in patients with abnormal coagulation parameters is 1 in 315 patients, with the lower limit of the 95% confidence interval at 87 and the upper limit at 2597.”

See also: Lee LO, Bateman BT, Kheterpal S, et al. Risk of Epidural Hematoma after Neuraxial Techniques in Thrombocytopenic Parturients: A Report from the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group. Anesthesiology. 2017;126(6):1053–1063.