Thomas Danninger, Ottokar Stundner, Yan Ma, James J Bae and Stavros G Memtsoudis
Little data exists to detail the effect of hypotensive epidural anesthesia on differential tissue oxygenation changes above and below the level of neuraxial blockade. This study was designed to study tissue oxygenation in a clinical setting, using non-invasive near-infrared spectroscopy.
Methods: Patients aged 18 to 85 scheduled to undergo primary total hip arthroplasty were enrolled. Muscle oxygenation saturation was measured above and below the level of neuraxial blockade (deltoid and vastus lateralis muscles). Other continuously recorded parameters included cardiac output, stroke volume, heart rate, invasive mean arterial blood pressure and arterial oxygen saturation. Recordings of muscle oxygenation were compared over time separately for upper and lower extremity.
Results: 10 patients were enrolled. We found an intermittent and significant unadjusted decline of mean muscle oxygenation saturation in the vastus lateralis muscle during first part of the surgery (nadir 2nd quintile: 71.0% vs. 63.3%, p<0.0001). This decline was followed by a return to baseline towards the end of the surgery (71.0% vs. 69.1%, p=0.3429). Mean muscle oxygenation saturation did not change for the same period of time in the deltoid muscle. When adjusting for covariates, the changes in muscle tissue oxygenation remained significant.
Conclusion: These results indicate that muscle oxygenation saturation, a surrogate parameter for tissue perfusion, is decreased by hypotensive epidural anesthesia, but only within the functional limits of the neuraxial blockade. The etiology of these findings remains to be elucidated.