The use of intravenous atropine after a saline infusion in the prevention of spinal anesthesia-induced hypotension in elderly patients.Anesth Analg 2000; 91(5):1203-6A&A
We investigated the efficacy of IV atropine for preventing spinal anesthesia-induced hypotension in elderly patients. Seventy-five patients undergoing transurethral prostate or bladder surgery were randomized to receive either placebo (n = 25), atropine 5 microg/kg (small-dose atropine, n = 25) or atropine 10 microg/kg (large-dose atropine, n = 25) after the induction of spinal anesthesia. All the patients received an IV infusion of 10 mL/kg 0.9% normal saline over 10 min before the induction of anesthesia. The systolic blood pressure decreased in all three groups after spinal anesthesia. There was a significant increase in the mean heart rate in both atropine groups as compared to the placebo group (placebo group: 78 bpm, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 76.6-78.5; small-dose atropine group: 86 bpm, 95% CI 83.9-88.8; large-dose atropine group: 97 bpm, 95% CI 94.5-100.3; P: = 0.001). There was a significant decrease in the incidence of hypotension in patients who received atropine (placebo group: 76%, small-dose atropine group: 52%, large-dose atropine group: 40%, P: = 0.03). The mean dose of ephedrine required was significantly decreased in the atropine groups (placebo group: 12.2 mg [SD= 10.5], small-dose atropine group: 7.4 mg [SD= 10.0], large-dose atropine group: 5.4 mg [SD= 8.7 mg], P: = 0.048). The total amount of IV fluid and number of patients requiring metaraminol in addition to 30 mg of ephedrine were not significantly different among the three groups. Significant side effects, such as confusion, ST segment changes or angina were not detected in any of the patients. We conclude that IV atropine may be a useful supplement to the existing methods in preventing hypotension induced by spinal anesthesia.
IV atropine increases heart rate in a dose-dependent manner in elderly patients undergoing spinal anesthesia. It reduces the incidence of hypotension and the dose of ephedrine required. Small-dose atropine may be a useful supplement in preventing spinal anesthesia-induced hypotension in elderly patients.