Prophylactic phenylephrine for caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia: systematic review and meta-analysis
M. Heesen Professor, S. Klöhr Consultant, R. Rossaint Professor and S. Straube Occupational Physician and Researcher
Volume 69, Issue 2, pages 143–165, February 2014
We conducted a systematic review to determine the harm and benefit associated with prophylactic phenylephrine for caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia. We included 21 randomised controlled trials with 1504 women. The relative risk (95% CI) of hypotension with phenylephrine infusion – as defined by authors – before delivery was 0.36 (0.18–0.73) vs placebo, p = 0.004; 0.58 (0.39–0.88) vs an ephedrine infusion, p = 0.009; and 0.73 (0.55–0.96) when added to an ephedrine infusion, p = 0.02. After delivery, the relative risks of hypotension and nausea and vomiting with phenylephrine compared with placebo were 0.37 (0.19–0.71), p = 0.003, and 0.39 (0.17–0.91), p = 0.03, respectively. There was no evidence that hypertension, bradycardia or neonatal endpoints were affected. Phenylephrine reduced the risk for hypotension and nausea and vomiting after spinal doses of bupivacaine generally exceeding 8 mg, but there was no evidence that it reduced other maternal or neonatal morbidities.