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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versión impresa ISSN 1134-8046


ZABALETA, J. et al. Comparison of two concentrations of bupivacaine by continuous paravertebral infusion after thoracotomy with pulmonary resection: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2017, vol.24, n.2, pp.68-73. ISSN 1134-8046.

Background and objectives:

Post-thoracotomy pain management should be based on a multimodal approach that includes continuous regional analgesia. The objective of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy of two concentrations of bupivacaine (0.2 % and 0.3 %) through a paravertebral catheter, both group plus fentanyl 2 mcg/ml.


We conducted a randomized double-blind clinical trial to compare these two concentrations in patients undergoing pulmonary resection by thoracotomy in Donostia University Hospital between November 2010 and May 2011 (n = 59). The paravertebral catheter was placed prior to the surgical intervention, with the patient awake and sitting upright. Data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. The Chi-squared test was used for qualitative variables and Student's t-tests or Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon tests for quantitative variables, depending on the distribution of the variables. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS software (Version 17).


We did not find statistically significant differences in postoperative pulmonary function (p = 0.49), self-perceived pain (VAS; p = 0.28) or cumulative morphine consumption (p = 0.101) in the two groups. We observed adverse effects in 8 patients in group 1 (29.6 %) and in 12 patients (37.5 %) in group 2, the difference not being statistically significant (p = 0.52).


Continuous thoracic paravertebral block for 48 hours is a good technique for the management of postoperative pain after pulmonary resection by thoracotomy. With moderate doses of local anesthetics (bupivacaine 0.20 %) we achieved good pain control and observed few systemic complications than major doses (bupivacaine 0.30 %).

Palabras clave : Postoperative pain; thoracotomy; paravertebral blockade; analgesia; bupivacaine.

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