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J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Oct-Dec;34(4):465-471. doi: 10.4103/joacp.JOACP_276_17.

Association between intravenous acetaminophen and reduction in intraoperative opioid consumption during transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary tumors.

Author information

Anesthesiology and Surgical Oncology Research Group, Houston, Texas, USA.
School of Biomedical Informatics, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


Background and Aims:

Pain during and after transsphenoidal surgeries originates from stimulation of branches of the trigeminal cranial nerve that supply the inner aspect of the nose cavity and dura mater. Thereby, patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery may require moderate-to-large amounts of analgesics including opioids. Intravenous acetaminophen provides analgesia and reduces opioid consumption for a wide variety of surgeries. We hypothesized that the use of intravenous acetaminophen is associated with a reduction in intraoperative opioid consumption and provides significant analgesia during and after transsphenoidal surgery.

Material and Methods:

This retrospective study included 413 patients who underwent transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas. The primary outcome of this study was intraoperative opioid consumption. Secondary outcomes included pain intensity, Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale scores, and nausea and vomiting upon arrival to postoperative anesthesia care unit. Patients were divided into two groups based on the intraoperative acetaminophen use. A prospensity score matching analysis was used to balance for important variables between the two groups of treatment. Regression models were fitted after matching the covariates. A P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


After matching, 126 patients were included in each group of treatment. Patients in the acetaminophen group required significantly less amount (a decrease by 14.9%) of opioids during surgery than those in the non-acetaminophen group. Postoperative pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and sedation scores were not significantly different between patients who received intravenous acetaminophen and those who did not.


Intravenous acetaminophen is associated with a reduction in intraoperative opioids during transsphenoidal pituitary surgery.


Acetaminophen; opioids; pituitary adenoma; transsphenoidal surgery

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