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Anesthesiology. 1993 Oct;79(4):733-8; discussion 25A.

Disposition and respiratory effects of intrathecal morphine in children.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The extent and duration of respiratory depression after opioid administration are poorly defined in infants and children.

METHODS:

The disposition and respiratory effects of intrathecal morphine were studied in ten patients (ages 4 months-15 yr) after repair of craniofacial defects. Morphine, 0.02 mg/kg, was administered intrathecally before the end of surgery. Postoperatively, we determined the minute ventilation (VE) in response to increasing partial pressure of end-tidal carbon dioxide (PETCO2) during carbon dioxide rebreathing. The slope (VE/PETCO2) and intercept (VE at PETCO2 60 mmHg, VE 60) of the carbon dioxide response curve were calculated at 6, 12, and 18 h after morphine administration. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood were analyzed for morphine concentration by radioimmunoassay.

RESULTS:

Mean VE/PETCO2 decreased from a preoperative value of 35.1 +/- 3.7 to 16.3 +/- 2.8 ml.kg-1 x min-1 x mmHg-1 at 6 h after morphine, and remained depressed to 23.4 +/- 2.9 and 23.5 +/- 3.3 ml.kg-1 x min-1 x mmHg-1 at 12 h and 18 h, respectively, compared to preoperatively). The infants' (n = 3) VE/PETCO2 at 6 h were 21, 4, and 27 ml.kg-1 x min-1 x mmHg-1. Mean VE 60 decreased from 874 +/- 125 to 276 +/- 32 ml x kg-1 x min-1 at 6 h, but then recovered at 12 and 18 h to 491 +/- 68 and 567 +/- 82 ml.kg-1 x min-1, respectively. The infants' VE 60 at 6 h were 350, 142, and 245 ml.kg-1 x min-1. Mean CSF morphine concentration was 2,860 +/- 540 ng/ml at 6 h, and decreased to 640 +/- 220 and 220 +/- 150 ng/ml at 12 and 18 h, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Intrathecal morphine, 0.02 mg/kg, depressed the ventilatory response to carbon dioxide for up to 18 h concomitant with increased CSF morphine concentrations. Infants (4-12 months of age) did not exhibit greater ventilatory depression than did children (2-15 yr of age).

PMID:
8214752
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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