Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 383-389

Low-dose spinal block combined with epidural volume extension in a high-risk cardiac patient: A case-based systematic literature review

1 Anesthesiology Service, Tondela - Viseu Hospital Centre, Portugal
2 Internal Medicine Service, Tondela - Viseu Hospital Centre, Portugal

Correspondence Address:
Ligia S Vieira
Serviço de Anestesiologia, Centro Hospitalar Tondela-Viseu, Av. Rei Dom Duarte, S/N. 3500-401 Viseu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.sja_740_21

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Background: Anesthetic management of patients with severe cardiac disease can be challenging during prolonged surgical procedures. Thus, alternative neuraxial anesthetic techniques have been described to avoid general anesthesia in these patients. Methods: A case-based systematic literature review on low-dose spinal block combined with different methods of epidural block extension in high-risk cardiac patients was performed. Results: We describe the successful management of a patient with poor left ventricular function who underwent excision arthroplasty of an infected hip prosthesis under low-dose spinal block with levobupivacaine 5 mg and fentanyl 15 μg combined with saline epidural volume extension (EVE). Epidural ropivacaine 0.75% was administered as a bolus of 5 ml followed by an infusion at 5 ml/h later during the course of surgery. Conclusions: Although continuous spinal anesthesia (CSA) or epidural anesthesia may limit hemodynamic instability, the possibility of devastating central nervous system infection may prevent CSA use, and epidural block alone may be less reliable than CSA. Epidural block alone may require large volumes of concentrated local anesthetic to obtain sacral block, which may produce hemodynamic instability. The EVE, particularly using saline EVE, has rarely been described in high-risk cardiac patients as an alternative to CSA or epidural block alone, with the intention to avoid general anesthesia, but it has demonstrated efficacy and a low rate of complications. Hemodynamic stability was maintained in most cases.

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