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Patient characteristics affect the response to ketamine and opioids during the treatment of vaso-occlusive episode-related pain in sickle cell disease.

Patient characteristics affect the response to ketamine and opioids during the treatment of vaso-occlusive episode-related pain in sickle cell disease.
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Nobrega R, Sheehy KA, Lippold C, Rice AL, Finkel JC, Quezado ZMN,


Nobrega R, Sheehy KA, Lippold C, Rice AL, Finkel JC, Quezado ZMN, (click to view)

Nobrega R, Sheehy KA, Lippold C, Rice AL, Finkel JC, Quezado ZMN,

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Pediatric research 2017 09 13() doi 10.1038/pr.2017.197
Abstract

BackgroundN-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation has been implicated in the pathobiology of inflammatory, nociceptive and neuropathic pain, opioid tolerance, opioid-induced hyperalgesia, and central sensitization. Some of those mechanisms underlie sickle cell disease(SCD)-associated pain.MethodsWe conducted an exploratory cohort study of SCD patients who during vaso-occlusive episodes (VOEs) received subanesthetic doses of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, ketamine, as an adjunct to opioids. We sought to identify predictors of changes in pain scores and of the percentage of ketamine infusions associated with meaningful changes (≥20% reduction) in pain and opioid consumption.ResultsEight-five patients received 181 ketamine infusions for VOE-associated pain. Combined with opioids, ketamine yielded significant decrease in pain scores and opioid consumption. Ketamine administered to males and to younger patients yielded greater pain score decrease compared with females (P=0.013) and older patients (P=0.018). Fifty-four percent of infusions yielded meaningful reductions in pain scores, and in multivariate analysis, sex, age group, pain location, and infusion duration independently predicted pain score changes.ConclusionThis study suggests that in SCD patients admitted with VOE-associated pain, ketamine has age- and sex-dependent effects. These data can inform sample and effect size calculations for controlled trials to determine which SCD patients would benefit most from ketamine.Pediatric Research advance online publication, 13 September 2017; doi:10.1038/pr.2017.197.

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