Epidural analgesia and abnormal coagulation in patients undergoing minimal invasive repair of pectus excavatum

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Background: Epidural analgesia (EA) is effective in patients undergoing minimal invasive repair of pectus excavatum (MIRPE) but is associated with major complications such as epidural hematomas. It is recommended to assess coagulation status in patients receiving anticoagulant therapy prior to EA, although no consensus exists in patients without a history of bleeding tendency or anticoagulant therapy. Thus, the aim of this paper was to assess 1) the prevalence of abnormal routine coagulation parameters, i.e., international normalized ratio (INR) and platelet count, and 2) the safety of EA in patients undergoing MIRPE.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we identified 1,973 patients undergoing MIRPE at our center between 2001 and 2019. Complications related to EA were registered for all patients. Information on coagulation parameters was present in 929 patients. Patients with spontaneously elevated INR ≥1.5 were referred for assessment of coagulation factor VII in order to assess the cause of the elevated INR.

Results: Of 929 patients with coagulation information available, 18 patients had spontaneously elevated INR ≥1.5 (1.9%). In patients with INR ≥1.5, 12 patients underwent further assessment of factor VII, with all patients having a slightly reduced factor VII close to the lower reference range. The majority of the 1,973 patients undergoing MIRPE received EA (99.6%) with very low complication rates (0.2%) and no incidence of epidural hematomas.

Conclusion: In patients undergoing MIRPE, coagulation screening prior to EA should not be mandatory as it revealed no clinically relevant consequences. EA is safe with very low complication rates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Cardiac Anaesthesia
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2022

    Research areas

  • Analgesia, Epidural, Anticoagulants/therapeutic use, Factor VII, Funnel Chest/etiology, Hematoma/etiology, Humans, Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures/adverse effects, Retrospective Studies

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