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Chang Gung Med J. 2011 Mar-Apr;34(2):205-12.

Intravenous ondansetron as antiemetic prophylaxis for postoperative nausea and vomiting after shoulder arthroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Chinese Traumatology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Taoyuan, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan.



Nausea and vomiting are common chief postoperative complaints. The clinical literature indicates that postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is common after orthopedic surgery. This study examines the clinical therapeutic efficacy of Ondansetron injected intravenously before the end of shoulder arthroscopy as antiemetic prophylaxis to help reduce the incidence of PONV.


Participants were identified through retrospective chart review and patients undergoing shoulder arthroscopy performed by the same orthopedic surgeon at the same hospital from 2005 to 2009 were analyzed. Subjects were classified into two groups based on whether Ondansetron was given. Differences in the incidence of PONV among the two groups were compared. Basic patient information, anesthesia records, and surgical records were obtained, as well as records on PONV, postoperative pain intensity, and postoperative analgesic injections within 24 hours after surgery.


The study involved 90 patients. The Group A contained 34 patients who did not receive Ondansetron, and the Group B contained 56 patients who were given Ondansetron. Analytical results for the postoperative 24 hour period showed a significant difference in the incidence of vomiting between the two groups, with a lower incidence (p < 0.05) for the. Group B. However there was no significant difference in the incidence of nausea between the two groups in the same postoperative 24 hour period, although there was a trend of a lower incidence in the Group B (p = 0.17). The overall incidence of PONV during the 24-hour period was lower in the Group B (14%) than the Group A (32%), and the Group B demonstrated lower pain intensity and lower analgesic injection needs.


Routine intravenous injection of Ondansetron 30 minutes before completion of shoulder arthroscopy can reduce the incidence of vomiting and overall PONV in patients. Additionally, the patients using Ondansetron demonstrated lower pain intensity and lower analgesic injection needs than the control group.

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