J Cancer 2021; 12(15):4513-4521. doi:10.7150/jca.57661

Research Paper

Positive Impact of Intraoperative Epidural Ropivacaine Infusion on Oncologic Outcomes in Pancreatic Cancer Patients Undergoing Pancreatectomy: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Wannan Chen1*, Yaolin Xu2*, Yueming Zhang2, Wenhui Lou2✉, Xiaodan Han1✉

1. Department of Anesthesiology, Zhongshan Hospital Fudan University, 180 Fenglin Road, Shanghai, China.
2. Department of General Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital Fudan University, 180 Fenglin Road, Shanghai, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this research and should be considered as co-first authors.

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Citation:
Chen W, Xu Y, Zhang Y, Lou W, Han X. Positive Impact of Intraoperative Epidural Ropivacaine Infusion on Oncologic Outcomes in Pancreatic Cancer Patients Undergoing Pancreatectomy: A Retrospective Cohort Study. J Cancer 2021; 12(15):4513-4521. doi:10.7150/jca.57661. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p4513.htm

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Abstract

Background: Previous literatures have demonstrated that regional anesthesia such as epidural anesthesia may affect long-term survival of cancer patients. In the present study, we conducted a retrospective cohort study to investigate the survival impact of intraoperatively epidural ropivacaine infusion on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients.

Methods: PDAC patients who underwent pancreatic surgery in Zhongshan Hospital Fudan University from January, 2015 to June, 2018 were included. The surgical procedure was performed under combined endotracheal general anesthesia and thoracic epidural anesthesia, and patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) with 0.12% ropivacaine was given after surgery for further pain control. Patients were divided into two groups according to their intraoperative epidural ropivacaine concentration: high (0.375%-0.5%) and low (0.15%-0.25%). Survival outcome was compared between groups.

Results: A total of 215 patients were enrolled and their baseline characteristics were balanced between groups, except that patients with high concentration ropivacaine received higher total dose opioid and had longer operative time. Resected PDAC patients who were administrated with high concentration ropivacaine through epidural catheter intraoperatively had improved overall survival (median overall survival, mOS, high VS low, 37.6 VS 23.7 months, p=0.04). High epidural ropivacaine concentration was an independent prognostic factor (hazard ratio [HR]=0.65, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.44-0.94; p=0.03). Subgroups analyses shown that T3M0 PDAC patients with preoperative CA 19-9 higher than 200 U/ml, negative resection margin, and those without tumor deposit and adjuvant radiotherapy could benefit from high concentration of ropivacaine.

Conclusion: Intraoperatively epidural infusion with high concentration of ropivacaine was associated with improved OS in PDAC patients undergoing pancreatectomy.

Keywords: pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, epidural anesthesia, ropivacaine, overall survival, pancreatectomy