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The Effect of Head-Down Tilt Position on Arterial Blood Pressure After Spinal Anesthesia for Cesarean Delivery
  1. Masayuki Miyabe, M.D. and
  2. Shigehito Sato, M.D.
  1. Department of Anesthesiology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
  1. Reprint requests: Masayuki Miyabe, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba 305, Japan.


Background and Objectives The effect of the head-down tilt position after induction of spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery on blood pressure and level of sensory block was examined.

Methods Patients were allocated randomly into two groups, the head-down tilt group (n = 17) and the horizontal group (n = 17). In the head-down tilt group, patients were positioned with a 10° head-down tilt immediately after supine positioning, while those in the horizontal group were maintained in a horizontal position. All patients received 500 mL of lactated Ringer's solution intravenously over 10 minutes prior to spinal injection, a wedge was placed under the patient's right hip, and the operating table was rotated 5° in a counterclockwise direction to provide left uterine displacement. Hypotension (defined as systolic blood pressure below 100 mm Hg) was treated with 5 mg ephedrine intravenously and an increase in the infusion rate of lactated Ringer's solution. The change in systolic blood pressure was expressed as percent change from the baseline value.

Results Systolic blood pressure decreased 20% at 3 minutes after spinal block in both groups but recovered to half of this decrease. The incidence of postspinal hypotension was not different between the two groups. The total amount of ephedrine and lactated Ringer's solution administered during the first 20 minutes of spinal block did not differ between the two groups nor did the extent of the cephalad spread of analgesia 20 minutes after spinal block (T4 ± 2 vs T4 ± 1 for the headdown and horizontal groups, respectively).

Conclusions The head-down position is concluded to have no effect on the incidence of hypotension during spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery.

  • spinal block
  • cesarean delivery
  • head-down tilt
  • blood pressure

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