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The effect of a preoperative single-dose methylprednisolone on postoperative pain after abdominal hysterectomy: a randomized controlled trial

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Anna J M Aabakke, Lars B Holst, Jørgen C Jørgensen, Niels J Secher

OBJECTIVE: Methylprednisolone has been shown to have analgesic effects after orthopedic surgery. The objective of this trial was to compare the effect of 125 mg methylprednisolone with placebo on postoperative pain after abdominal hysterectomy.

STUDY DESIGN: In this randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial women scheduled for elective abdominal hysterectomy (n=59) were randomized to preoperatively receive either 125 mg methylprednisolone or saline intravenously. Primary outcome was postoperative pain measured on a 0.0-10.0 visual analog scale and assessed at rest and during mobilization repeatedly the first 24h and daily on the 2nd to 7th postoperative day. Secondary outcomes were postoperative use of opioids and antiemetics, vomiting, C-reactive protein levels, and time to mobilization and discharge. Repeated measures including the primary outcome were analyzed with linear mixed models.

RESULTS: Forty-nine cases were analyzed (methylprednisolone n=25, placebo n=24). Pain scores were significantly higher in the methylprednisolone group compared to the placebo group during mobilization (0.79 [95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.07-1.50] P=0.03) but not at rest (0.55 [95% CI: -0.06 to 1.16] P=0.08). There was no difference between the methylprednisolone and placebo group regarding use of opioids (P=0.24) and antiemetics (P=0.14), number of vomits (P=0.26), and time to mobilization (P=0.24) and discharge (P=0.28). C-reactive protein levels were significantly higher in the placebo group (P=0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: This trial showed no beneficial effect of methylprednisolone on postoperative pain after abdominal hysterectomy. Methylprednisolone significantly lowered postoperative CRP levels.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrial.gov: www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01106547.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Volume180
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
ISSN0301-2115
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

ID: 135494550