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PLoS One. 2018 May 14;13(5):e0196388. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196388. eCollection 2018.

Effects of palonosetron for prophylaxis of postoperative nausea and vomiting in high-risk patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Republic of Korea.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The preemptive multimodal pain protocols used in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) often cause emesis postoperatively. We investigated whether palonosetron prophylaxis reduces postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in high-risk patients after TKA.


We randomized 120 female patients undergoing TKA to receive either palonosetron (0.075 mg, intravenous) or no antiemetic prophylaxis (0.9% saline, control group). All patients were given spinal anesthesia, a continuous femoral nerve block, and fentanyl-based intravenous patient controlled analgesia. Patients undergoing staged bilateral TKA were assigned to one group for the first knee and the other group for the second knee. The overall incidence of PONV, the incidences of both nausea and vomiting, severity of nausea, complete response, requirement for rescue antiemetics, pain level, opioid consumption, and satisfaction scores were evaluated during three periods: 0-2, 2-24, and 24-48 h postoperatively. We also compared PONV and pain between the first and second TKA.


The incidence of PONV during the first 48 h was lower in the palonosetron group compared with the controls (22 vs. 41%, p = 0.028), especially 2-24 h after surgery, as was the nausea and vomiting respectively. The severity of nausea was lower in the palonosetron group (p = 0.010). The complete response rate (93 vs. 73%, p = 0.016) and satisfaction score (84 ± 12 vs. 79 ± 15, p = 0.032) were higher in the palonosetron group during 2-24 h after surgery. Patients who underwent a second operation complained of more severe pain, and consumed more opioids than those of the first operation. There was no difference in the incidence of PONV between the first and second operations.


Palonosetron prophylaxis reduced the incidence and severity of PONV in high-risk patients managed with multimodal pain protocol for 48 h, notably 2-24 h after TKA.

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