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Ann Thorac Surg. 1990 Dec;50(6):888-93.

Continuous epidural hydromorphone for postthoracotomy pain relief.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, California.


Forty-four patients were treated with a continuous infusion of lumbar epidural hydromorphone (0.05%) after thoracic operations. Postoperatively, visual analog pain scores were obtained. On postoperative day 1 and 2, more than 90% of the patients experienced either no pain (visual analog pain scale = 0) or mild pain (visual analog pain score = 1 to 3) at rest. The incidence of side effects (hypoventilation, pruritus, and nausea) was less than reported with other epidurally administered opioids. Continuous infusion of lumbar epidural hydromorphone produced safe, predictable analgesia after thoracotomy.

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