Despite literature suggesting benefits of using regional anesthesia, the impact of neuraxial anesthesia on perioperative outcomes in patients undergoing lung surgery remains unstudied. We studied the effect of combined neuraxial/general anesthesia (vs general anesthesia) on perioperative outcome in a large national sample of patients who underwent open lung resection.
We extracted data from the Premier Perspective database on patients who underwent open lung resection. The main effect of interest was anesthesia type: general and combined neuraxial/general anesthesia. Patient and health-care variables, complications, and resource use were compared between groups. Multivariable analyses assessed the independent impact of choice of anesthetic technique on outcomes.
For 18,943 patients, anesthesia type was known: 79% (n = 14,912) were administered general anesthesia, and 21% (n = 4,031) received neuraxial/general anesthesia. Comparing general vs neuraxial/general anesthesia, unadjusted incidences for the latter were lower for acute myocardial infarction (1.09% vs 0.67%, P = .018), pulmonary complications (20.96% vs 18.98%, P = .006), blood transfusion (14.15% vs 9.80%, P < .0001), and mechanical ventilation (11.60% vs 8.81%, P < .0001). Neuraxial/general anesthesia was associated with lower adjusted odds of blood transfusion (OR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.69-0.98) and mechanical ventilation (OR, 0.81; 95% CI , 0.67-0.98), while higher odds were seen for DVT (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.01-2.23) and pulmonary embolism (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.02-2.38).
This study illustrates the association between adding neuraxial to general anesthesia in open lung resections among patients with cancer and perioperative outcomes. Neuraxial anesthesia use was associated with decreased risk for blood transfusion but increased thromboembolic risks. Additional studies are needed to elucidate mechanisms by which neuraxial anesthesia may affect these outcomes.