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High-dose methylprednisolone in video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy: a randomized controlled trial

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OBJECTIVES: The optimal postoperative analgesic strategy after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy remains undetermined. We hypothesized that high-dose preoperative methylprednisolone (MP) would improve analgesia compared to placebo.

METHODS: A total of 120 adult patients were randomized equally to 125 mg MP or placebo before the start of their elective video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy. Group allocation was blinded to patients, investigators and caregivers, and all patients received standardized multimodal, opioid-sparing analgesia. Our primary outcome was area under the curve on a numeric rating scale from 0 to 10, for pain scores on the day of surgery and on postoperative days 1 and 2. Clinical follow-up was 2-3 weeks, and telephone follow-up was 12 weeks after surgery.

RESULTS: Ninety-six patients were included in the primary analysis. Methylprednisolone significantly decreased median pain scores on the day of surgery: at rest (numeric rating scale 1.6 vs 2.0, P  = 0.019) and after mobilization to a sitting position (numeric rating scale 1.7 vs 2.5, P  = 0.004) but not during arm abduction and coughing ( P  = 0.052 and P  = 0.083, respectively). Nausea and fatigue were reduced on the day of surgery ( P  = 0.04 and 0.03), whereas no outcome was improved on postoperative Days 1 and 2. Methylprednisolone did not increase the risk of complications but increased blood glucose levels on the day of surgery ( P  < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: High-dose preoperative MP significantly reduced pain at rest and after mobilization to a sitting position on the day of surgery, without later analgesic effects. Nausea and fatigue were improved without side effects, except transient higher postoperative blood glucose levels.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered at clinicaltrialsregister.eu [7 November 2012, EudraCT 2012-004451-37; https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2012-004451-37/DK ].

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Volume53
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
ISSN1010-7940
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51759594