Effect of Opioid-free Anaesthesia on Post-operative Period in Cardiac Surgery

A Retrospective Matched Case-control Study

Pierre-Grégoire Guinot; Alexandra Spitz; Vivien Berthoud; Omar Ellouze; Anis Missaoui; Tiberiu Constandache; Sandrine Grosjean; Mohamed Radhouani; Jean-Baptiste Anciaux; Jean-Philippe Parthiot; Jean-Pierre Merle; Nicolas Nowobilski; Maxime Nguyen; Belaid Bouhemad


BMC Anesthesiol. 2019;19(136) 

In This Article


Background: No study has been conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of an opioid-free anesthesia (OFA) protocol in cardiac surgery to improve patient care. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of OFA on post-operative morphine consumption and the post-operative course.

Methods: After retrospectively registering to clinicaltrial.gov (NCT03816592), we performed a retrospective matched cohort study (1:1) on cardiac surgery patients with cardiopulmonary bypass between 2018 and 2019. Patients were divided into two groups: OFA (lidocaine, dexamethasone and ketamine) or opioid anaesthesia (OA) (sufentanil). The main outcome was the total postoperative morphine consumption in the 48 h after surgery. Secondary outcomes were rescue analgesic use, a major adverse event composite endpoint, and ICU and hospital length of stay (LOS).

Results: One hundred ten patients were matched (OFA: n = 55; OA: n = 55). On inclusion, demographic and surgical data for the OFA and OA groups were comparable. The total morphine consumption was higher in the OA group than in the OFA group (15 (6–34) vs 5 mg (2–18), p = 0.001). The pain score during the first 48 post-operative hours did not differ between the two groups. Creatinine values did not differ on the first post-operative day (80 (IQR: 66–115) vs 77 mmol/l (IQR: 69–95), p = 0.284). Incidence of the composite endpoint was lower in the OFA group (25 patients (43%) vs 38 patients (68%), p = 0.021). The time to extubation and the ICU stays were shorter in the OFA group (3 (1–5) vs 5 (3–6) hours, p = 0.001 and 2 (1–3) vs 3 (2–5) days, p = 0.037).

Conclusion: The use of OFA was associated with lower morphine consumption. OFA might be associated with shorter intubation time and ICU stays. Further randomized studies are needed to confirm these results.