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Gomez-Hernandez J.,Breast Tumor Clinic Oncologic Institute Of Jalisco | Orozco-Alatorre A.L.,Breast Tumor Clinic Oncologic Institute Of Jalisco | Dominguez-Contreras M.,Breast Tumor Clinic Oncologic Institute Of Jalisco | Oceguera-Villanueva A.,Breast Tumor Clinic Oncologic Institute Of Jalisco | And 4 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2010

Background: Dexamethasone has been reported to reduce postoperative symptoms after different surgical procedures. We evaluated the efficacy of preoperative dexamethasone in ameliorating postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and pain after mastectomy.Methods: In this prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 70 patients scheduled for mastectomy with axillary lymph node dissection were analyzed after randomization to treatment with 8 mg intravenous dexamethasone (n = 35) or placebo (n = 35). All patients underwent standardized procedures for general anesthesia and surgery. Episodes of PONV and pain score were recorded on a visual analogue scale. Analgesic and antiemetic requirements were also recorded.Results: Demographic and medical variables were similar between groups. The incidence of PONV was lower in the dexamethasone group at the early postoperative evaluation (28.6% vs. 60%; p = 0.02) and at 6 h (17.2% vs. 45.8%; p = 0.03). More patients in the placebo group required additional antiemetic medication (21 vs. 8; p = 0.01). Dexamethasone treatment significantly reduced postoperative pain just after surgery (VAS score, 4.54 ± 1.55 vs. 5.83 ± 2.00; p = 0.004), at 6 h (3.03 ± 1.20 vs. 4.17 ± 1.24; p < 0.0005) and at 12 h (2.09 ± 0.85 vs. 2.54 ± 0.98; p = 0.04). Analgesics were required in more patients of the control group (21 vs. 10; p = 0.008). There were no adverse events, morbidity or mortality.Conclusions: Preoperative intravenous dexamethasone (8 mg) can significantly reduce the incidence of PONV and pain in patients undergoing mastectomy with axillary dissection for breast cancer.Trial registration number: NCT01116713. © 2010 Gómez-Hernández et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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