Fetal effects of prophylactic ephedrine and maternal hypotension during regional anesthesia for cesarean section.J Matern Fetal Med 1996 Mar-Apr; 5(2):79-84JM
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a prophylactic intravenous bolus of ephedrine on the incidence and severity of maternal hypotension and on neonatal outcome. Term healthy parturients (n = 122) scheduled for elective repeat cesarean section under regional anesthesia were studied. Ninety-two women received 10 mg ephedrine as a prophylactic intravenous bolus prior to intrathecal epidural local anesthesia. Thirty parturients who served as controls did not receive prophylactic ephedrine. Maternal blood pressures, Apgar scores, and umbilical cord blood acid-base status were evaluated. Sixty-three of 92 women (69%) who received intravenous prophylactic ephedrine prior to regional anesthesia developed hypotension compared to 21 (70%) controls. The mean (+/- SD) lowest systolic blood pressure was similar in both groups (95.6 +/- 12.9 vs. 96 +/- 8.9 mmHg; P = 0.86). The mean (+/-SD) fetal pH was significantly lower with prophylactic ephedrine than controls (7.24 +/- 0.07 vs. 7.28 +/- 0.05; P = 0.001). The frequency of umbilical artery blood pH < 7.20 was 10.6% for the ephedrine group vs. 3.2% for controls (P = 0.024). Among newborns of hypotensive mothers, the frequency of umbilical artery blood pH < 7.20 was 30.2% and 4.6% for the ephedrine and control groups, respectively (P = 0.018). Intravenous prophylaxis with ephedrine did not significantly decrease the frequency of hypotension in women receiving regional anesthesia and resulted in a greater proportion of umbilical artery blood pH values < 7.20.