Effect of Patient Position and Hypotensive Anesthesia on Inferior Vena Caval Pressure

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Abstract

Study design.

This is a prospective study to measure the inferior vena caval pressure of 20 patients in different positions and different states of blood pressure.

Objectives.

Because the inferior vena caval pressure could affect the vertebral venous pressure, which in turn may influence blood loss during lumbar spinal surgery, this study was designed to provide the quantitative data necessary to stress the importance of patient positioning and to assess the effect of controlled hypotension on inferior vena caval pressure.

Summary of Background Data.

Positioning patients with a pendulous abdomen and controlled hypotension has been practiced widely during lumbar spinal surgery. It is generally believed that the former will help reduce vertebral venous engorgement and the latter will produce a bloodless surgical wound. However, there have been no complete studies in which quantitative changes of inferior vena caval pressure resulting from different positions was examined. In addition, it would be interesting to know what happens to inferior vena caval pressure during induced hypotension. Could there be an adverse effect on the inferior vena caval pressure during the hypotensive state?

Methods.

An intravenous catheter was introduced into the inferior vena cava in each of 20 patients undergoing spinal surgery. In each patient, the inferior vena caval pressure was measured when the patient was supine, prone on a conventional pad, and prone on a Relton-Hall frame. It was followed by isoflurane-induced hypotension with reduction of mean arterial pressure by 20 mm Hg.

Results.

In this series, the inferior vena caval pressure ranged from 8.2 to 23.4 mm Hg (with a mean of 15.3 mm Hg) when patients were positioned prone on a conventional pad. However, when they were subsequently positioned prone on a Relton-Hall frame, the inferior vena caval pressure decreased dramatically to a range of 4.6 to 13.6 mm Hg (with a mean of 8.2 mm Hg). In each patient, the measured inferior vena caval pressure when positioned prone on a conventional pad was 1.5 times greater than that measured with the patient positioned on a Relton-Hall frame, There was a statistically significant difference between these two positions (F = 75.996; P < 0.05). The patients' mean arterial pressure ranged from 92 to 105 mm Hg before induced hypotension. During this time, the inferior vena caval pressure ranged from 4.1 to 13.1 mm Hg (mean, 8.2 mm Hg). During the hypotensive state, the patients' inferior vena caval pressure was found to range from 4.2 to 13.6 mm Hg (mean, 8.1 mm Hg). In each patient, the hypotensive inferior vena caval pressure may be slightly higher or lower than the baseline pressure. However, the variation never exceeded 1.7 mm Hg. Statistically, there was no significant difference between these two periods (t = 0.956; P > 0.05).

Conclusions.

A device allowing the patient's abdominal viscera to hang freely while the patient is in a prone position significantly reduces their inferior vena caval pressure. The patients also has a constant inferior vena caval pressure during isoflurane-induced hypotension.

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