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Effect of pterygopalatine blockade on perioperative stress and inflammatory outcomes following paediatric cataract surgery


Background General anesthesia is required to perform pediatric cataract surgery. To reduce severity of surgical intervention and postoperative complications, regional techniques have been concomitantly used. The traditional regional ophthalmic techniques are retrobulbar, peribulbar and sub-Tenon blocks, which present some technical difficulties and associated complication risks. The pterygopalatine blockade has been exempt of many of these concerns as it is performed out of the orbit. The purpose of this study was to compare the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of the pterygopalatine blockade with retrobulbar block in children undergoing elective congenital cataract surgery.

Methods After approval of ethics committee and informed consents, patients were enrolled to the study to have either ultrasound-guided pterygopalatine block (group P) or retrobulbar block (group R), with 2 mL lidocaine 2% and 1 mL ropivacaine 0.5%. Hemodynamic monitoring was recorded throughout the perioperative period. Cortisol level and oxidation–reduction status were assessed before and after surgery. Pain and inflammatory response (Tyndall effect, corneal syndrome and edema) were assessed on the first postoperative day.

Results Comparative analysis demonstrated a decrease in cortisol of 123.24% (p˂0.05) and an increase in the redox coefficient of 37.7% (p˂0.05) in group P. Pain intensity was significantly higher in group R until the 16th postoperative hour. The corneal syndrome in patients in group P and group R was noted by 7.6% and in 32.1%, respectively (p˂0.05).

Conclusion The use of the pterygopalatine blockade as a component of anesthesia in pediatric cataract surgery allows reduction of the severity of surgical stress during surgical intervention, providing intraoperative hemodynamic stability and prolonged analgesia.

  • head and neck
  • acute pain
  • pediatric pain
  • postoperative pain
  • pediatrics

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