Preoperative anxiety and distress can produce significant psychological impacts on children undergoing oncologic care or investigation. Adjuvant therapy is used for pain management in children; however, pre-analgesia options are restricted because they can cause undesirable outcomes.
Our study aimed to investigate the use of gabapentin in procedural sedation as adjuvant therapy in children undergoing oncologic treatment.
We performed a double-blinded, randomized, clinical trial at Albert Sabin Infant’s Hospital in Fortaleza, Brazil. Children aged 1 - 6 years who had myelogram or lumbar puncture (associated or not with intrathecal chemotherapy) received placebo or gabapentin syrups (15 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg) one to two hours before the procedure. Preoperative anxiety was evaluated by the Yale preoperative anxiety scale modified (m-YPAS scale). The pediatric anesthesia emergence delirium (PAED) and children and infants postoperative pain scale (CHIPP) scales were used for emergence delirium and pain intensity measurement, respectively.
We evaluated 135 patients.We observed that the gabapentin groups presented lower m-YPAS scores than the placebo group at separationandinduction times. Postoperatively, the gabapentin groupshadlowerPAEDandCHIPP scores than the placebo group; however, only had PAED scores clinical relevance. No significant differences were found between the gabapentin groups. Furthermore, children with less than three prior similar procedures were more likely to benefit from gabapentin. Postoperative vomiting was prevented by 30 mg/kg gabapentin.
Although gabapentin has little preoperative effects, it ameliorates anxiety before induction, improves anesthetic induction, and reduces the occurrence of emergence delirium and postoperative vomiting up to eight hours after the procedure. Thus, we indicate gabapentin as adjuvant therapy for procedural sedation.
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