Sublingual Sufentanil Tablet System Versus Continuous Morphine Infusion for Postoperative Analgesia in Cardiac Surgery Patients

Vincent Van Tittelboom, Ruben Poelaert, Manu L N G Malbrain, Mark La Meir, Kurt Staessens, Jan Poelaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE(S): To assess the effectiveness and side effects of a patient-controlled sublingual sufentanil tablet system for postoperative analgesia after cardiac surgery and to compare it to a nurse-controlled continuous morphine infusion.

DESIGN: Prospective, open-label, randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Single university academic center.

PARTICIPANTS: Adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery, which included a sternotomy.

INTERVENTIONS: Sublingual sufentanil tablet system versus nurse-controlled continuous morphine infusion.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A total of 483 cardiac surgery patients were screened for eligibility, of whom 64 patients completed the study. No statistically significant differences were found for baseline characteristics between both groups. All mean numeric rating scale (NRS) pain scores from after extubation until intensive care unit discharge were ≤3 in both groups. The cumulative mean NRS pain score from 24 hours after extubation (primary outcome) (t = hours after extubation) was significantly different in favor of the morphine group: (t = 0-24) (0.8 [0.7] v 1.3 [0.8]; p = 0.006). Later cumulative mean pain scores were also in favor of the morphine group: (t = 24-48) (0.2 [0.3] v 0.6 [0.5]; p = 0.001) and (t = 48-63) (0.0 [0.0] v 0.1 [0.2]; p = 0.013). The cumulative opioid dose (in milligrams intravenous morphine equivalents) was significantly higher in the morphine group compared with the sublingual sufentanil group (241.94 [218.73] v 39.84 [21.96]; p = 0.0001). No differences were found for the incidences of postoperative nausea and vomiting, sedation, hypoventilation, bradycardia, or hypotension between both groups (secondary outcomes).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite resulting in statistically significantly higher pain scores, a patient-controlled sublingual sufentanil tablet system offers adequate analgesia after cardiac surgery and reduces opioid consumption when compared with continuous morphine infusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1133
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Volume35
Issue number4
Early online date19 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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