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Korean J Pain. 2013 Jul;26(3):270-6. doi: 10.3344/kjp.2013.26.3.270. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

The Effect of Low-dose Ketamine on Post-caesarean Delivery Analgesia after Spinal Anesthesia.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea.



Ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, might play a role in postoperative analgesia, but its effect on postoperative pain after caesarean section varies with study design. We investigated whether the preemptive administration of low-dose intravenous ketamine decreases postoperative opioid requirement and postoperative pain in parturients receiving intravenous fentanyl with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) following caesarean section.


Spinal anesthesia was performed in 40 parturients scheduled for elective caesarean section. Patients in the ketamine group received a 0.5 mg/kg ketamine bolus intravenously followed by 0.25 mg/kg/h continuous infusion during the operation. The control group received the same volume of normal saline. Immediately after surgery, the patients were connected to a PCA device set to deliver 25-µg fentanyl as an intravenous bolus with a 15-min lockout interval and no continuous dose. Postoperative pain was assessed using the cumulative dose of fentanyl and visual analog scale (VAS) scores at 2, 6, 24, and 48 h postoperatively.


Significantly less fentanyl was used in the ketamine group 2 h after surgery (P = 0.033), but the difference was not significant at 6, 12, and 24 h postoperatively. No significant differences were observed between the VAS scores of the two groups at 2, 6, 12, and 24 h postoperatively.


Intraoperative low-dose ketamine did not have a preemptive analgesic effect and was not effective as an adjuvant to decrease opioid requirement or postoperative pain score in parturients receiving intravenous PCA with fentanyl after caesarean section.


caesarean delivery; ketamine; patient-controlled analgesia; preemptive analgesia; spinal anesthesia

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