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Effect and Safety of Remifentanil Patient-Controlled Analgesia Compared with Epidural Analgesia in Labor: An Updated Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Authors
  • Zhang, Peijun
  • Yu, Zhiqiang
  • Zhai, Meili
  • Cui, Jian
  • Wang, Jianbo
Type
Published Article
Journal
Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation
Publisher
S. Karger AG
Publication Date
Jun 30, 2021
Volume
86
Issue
3
Pages
231–238
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1159/000515531
PMID: 34192701
Source
Karger
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Meta-Analysis
License
Green
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Abstract

Purpose: The study was aimed to systematically assess the effect and safety of remifentanil patient-controlled analgesia (rPCA) versus epidural analgesia (EA) during labor. Methods: Eligible trials were retrieved from PubMed, EMBASE, ScienceDirect, and Cochrane Library before April 2020. The primary outcomes were patient satisfaction with pain relief and average visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores during labor; the secondary outcomes were rate of spontaneous delivery, oxygen desaturation, maternal hyperthermia, and neonatal Apgar scores <7 at 1 and 5 min. Results: Eleven studies involving 3,039 parturients were included. We found that parturients receiving rPCA were similarly satisfied with pain relief compared to those receiving EA (standardized mean difference: −0.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.57, 0.18), though had significantly higher VAS pain scores during labor (weighted mean difference: 1.41; 95% CI: 0.32, 2.50). The rate of spontaneous delivery was comparable. rPCA increased the risk of maternal oxygen desaturation (risk ratio [RR]:3.23, 95% CI: 1.98, 5.30). There was no statistical significance regarding hyperthermia (RR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.24, 1.01). No significant difference was found for neonatal Apgar scores <7 at 1 and 5 min. Conclusion: rPCA could be an optional alternative for pain relief to EA without worsening maternal satisfaction with pain relief, delivery modes, or neonatal morbidity. However, rPCA was associated with higher pain intensity during labor and higher incidence of maternal oxygen desaturation. The routine use of rPCA in labor must be armed with close respiratory monitoring. Continued well-designed studies are required to provide more robust evidence.

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