Possible Impact of Spinal Anesthesia and Phenylephrine on Sublingual Microcirculation of Cesarean Delivery Patients

Ronald B. George, Colin Boyd, Dolores McKeen, Islam Saleh Abdo, Christian Lehmann

Abstract


Background: This study was a proof of concept of a novel means to evaluate microcirculatory changes during spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery. It sought to examine the distributive circulatory effects of spinal anesthesia and evaluate the impact of phenylephrine administration on the microcirculation of these women.

Methods: After Research Ethics Board approval, healthy, non-laboring pregnant women with singleton, term pregnancies scheduled for elective cesarean delivery were recruited. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either phenylephrine infusion or phenylephrine bolus. Spinal anesthesia was standardized. A sidestream dark-field (SDF) MicroScan® video microscope was applied to the sublingual mucosa to obtain microcirculation videos in five different visual fields. Videos were made before and after spinal anesthesia. The resultant videos were analyzed randomly and blindly. The mean microvascular flow index (MFI) values were compared before and after spinal anesthesia. The difference in MFI following spinal anesthesia was compared between phenylephrine infusion and bolus groups.

Results: Thirty-two patients were recruited for the study; 22 patients had complete video sets for analysis. Baseline characteristics were similar between the two groups, including preoperative hemodynamics. There were no significant differences between pre- and post-spinal MFI. The post-spinal MFI within the infusion group (mean ± standard deviation: 2.74 ± 0.21) was not significantly different from the bolus group (2.56 ± 0.42, P = 0.22).

Conclusion: Despite theoretical physiological implications of spinal anesthesia and phenylephrine on the microcirculation, significant alteration of the MFI was not observed between pre- and post-spinal anesthesia (within group). Additionally, despite an eight-fold larger phenylephrine dose for continuous infusion prophylaxis used in this group of women, this did not result in a significant alteration of the microcirculation compared to those who received phenylephrine treatment for hypotension (between groups).




J Clin Med Res. 2019;11(8):543-549
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr3778


Keywords


Spinal anesthesia; Microcirculation; Phenylephrine; Sidestream dark-field imaging; Obstetric anesthesia

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