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Dexamethasone and clinically significant postoperative nausea and vomiting: A prespecified substudy of the randomised perioperative administration of dexamethasone and infection (PADDI) trial

Corcoran, T.B., Martin, C., O'Loughlin, E., Ho, K.M., Coutts, P., Chan, M.T., Forbes, A., Leslie, K. and Myles, P. (2022) Dexamethasone and clinically significant postoperative nausea and vomiting: A prespecified substudy of the randomised perioperative administration of dexamethasone and infection (PADDI) trial. British Journal of Anaesthesia . In Press.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2022.05.018
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Abstract

Background

Clinically significant postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is a patient-reported outcome which reflects patient experience. Although dexamethasone prevents PONV, it is unknown what impact it has on this experience.

Methods

In this prespecified embedded superiority substudy of the randomised Perioperative Administration of Dexamethasone and Infection (PADDI) trial, patients undergoing non-urgent noncardiac surgery received dexamethasone 8 mg or placebo intravenously after induction of anaesthesia, and completed a validated PONV questionnaire. The primary outcome was the incidence of clinically significant PONV on day 1 or day 2 postoperatively. Secondary outcomes included the incidence of clinically significant PONV and severe PONV on days 1 and 2 considered separately.

Results

A total of 1466 participants were included, with 733 patients allocated to the dexamethasone arm and 733 to matched placebo. The primary outcome occurred in 52 patients (7.1%) in the dexamethasone arm and 66 (9%) patients in the placebo arm (relative risk [RR]=0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56–1.11; P=0.18). Severe PONV occurred on day 2 in 27 patients (3.9%) in the dexamethasone arm and 47 patients (6.7%) in the placebo arm (RR=0.58; 95% CI, 0.37–0.92; P=0.02; number needed-to-treat (NNT)=36.7; 95% CI, 20–202). In the entire cohort of 8880 PADDI patients, lower nausea scores, less frequent administration of antiemetics, and fewer vomiting events were recorded by patients in the dexamethasone arm up to day 2 after surgery.

Conclusions

Administration of dexamethasone 8 mg i.v. did not influence clinically significant PONV. Dexamethasone administration did, however, decrease the incidence and severity of PONV, and was associated with less frequent administration of antiemetic agents.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © 2022 British Journal of Anaesthesia.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/65527
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