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Anesth Analg. 2013 Jul;117(1):34-42. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e318292ed5f. Epub 2013 May 17.

The relationship of intravenous dextrose administration during emergence from anesthesia to postoperative nausea and vomiting: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Room 2532 LLUMC, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA92354, USA.



Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) may occur despite antiemetic prophylaxis and is associated with unanticipated hospital admission, financial impact, and patient dissatisfaction. Previous studies have shown variable impact of IV dextrose on PONV. We sought to determine the relationship of IV dextrose administered during emergence from anesthesia to PONV.


This was a prospective, double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. Adult female ASA physical status I and II nondiabetic patients scheduled for outpatient gynecologic, urologic, or breast surgery were randomly assigned to infusion of 250 mL lactated Ringer's solution (group P; n = 75) or dextrose 5% in lactated Ringer's solution (group D; n = 87) over 2 hours beginning with surgical closing. Blood glucose was determined using a point-of-care device before transfer to the operating room, in the operating room immediately before study fluid infusion, and in the recovery room after study fluid infusion. No antiemetics were given before arrival in the recovery room. PONV scores were recorded at 0, 30, 60, and 120 minutes and 24 hours after arrival in the recovery room. Medication administration was recorded.


Data from 162 patients with normal baseline blood glucose were analyzed. There were no significant intergroup differences in demographics, history of PONV, or tobacco use. There was no significant intergroup difference in PONV during the first 2 hours after anesthesia (group D 52.9% vs group P 46.7%; difference, 6.2%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -9.2% to 21.6%; P = 0.43). Patients in groups D or P who developed PONV within 2 hours of anesthesia had similar number of severity scores ≥1 during recovery stay (1.5 vs 1.0; difference, 0; 95% CI, 0%-0%; P = 0.93); and similar proportions of: PONV onset within 30 minutes of recovery room arrival (65.2% vs 57.1%; difference, 8.1%; 95% CI, -13.1% to 28.8%; P = 0.46); more than 1 dose of antiemetic medication (56.5% vs 62.9%; difference, 6.3%; 95% CI, -26.9% to 15.1%; P= 0.65); or more than 1 class of antiemetic medication (50.0% vs 54.3%; difference, 4.3%; 95% CI, -25.5% to 17.4%; P = 0.82).


The administration of dextrose during emergence from anesthesia was not associated with a difference in the incidence of PONV exceeding 20% or in the severity of PONV in the first 2 hours after anesthesia. The relationship between PONV and the optimal dose and timing of IV dextrose administration remains unclear and may warrant further study.

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