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The association between epidural analgesia and mortality in emergency abdominal surgery: A population-based cohort study

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  • Danish Anaesthesia Database
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BACKGROUND: Emergency abdominal surgery carries a considerable risk of mortality and postoperative complications, including pulmonary complications. In major elective surgery, epidural analgesia reduces mortality and pulmonary complications. We aimed to evaluate the association between epidural analgesia and mortality in emergency abdominal surgery.

METHODS: In this population-based cohort study with prospective data collection, we included adults undergoing emergency abdominal laparotomy or laparoscopy between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010 at 13 Danish hospitals. Appendectomies were excluded. The primary outcome was 90-day mortality. Secondary outcomes included 30-day mortality and serious adverse events. We used binary logistic regression analyses (odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs)).

RESULTS: We included 4 920 patients, of which 1 134 (23.0%) died within 90 days. Overall, 27.9% of the patients were treated with epidural analgesia perioperatively. This increased to 34.0% among patients undergoing major laparotomy. The crude and adjusted association between epidural analgesia and 90-day mortality was OR 0.99 (95%CI: 0.86-1.15, P=0.94) and OR 0.80 (95%CI: 0.67-0.94; P= 0.01), respectively. For 30-day mortality the corresponding estimates were OR 0.90 (95%CI: 0.76-1.06, P=0.21) and OR 0.75 (95%CI: 0.62-0.90, P<0.01), respectively. No serious adverse events were reported.

CONCLUSION: In this population-based cohort study of adult patients undergoing emergency abdominal surgery, we found that the use of epidural analgesia perioperatively was associated with a decreased risk of mortality in the adjusted analysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Volume64
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
ISSN0001-5172
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2019 The Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

ID: 57846345