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Anaesthesia. 2013 Jun;68(6):628-35. doi: 10.1111/anae.12191.

Epidural anaesthesia and analgesia for liver resection.

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Department of Anaesthesia and Postoperative Intensive care, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.


Although epidural analgesia is routinely used in many institutions for patients undergoing hepatic resection, there are unresolved issues regarding its safety and efficacy in this setting. We performed a review of papers published in the area of anaesthesia and analgesia for liver resection surgery and selected four areas of current controversy for the focus of this review: the safety of epidural catheters with respect to postoperative coagulopathy, a common feature of this type of surgery; analgesic efficacy; associated peri-operative fluid administration; and the role of epidural analgesia in enhanced recovery protocols. In all four areas, issues are raised that question whether epidural anaesthesia is always the best choice for these patients. Unfortunately, the evidence available is insufficient to provide definitive answers, and it is clear that there are a number of areas of controversy that would benefit from high-quality clinical trials.

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