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Intrathecal clonidine does not reduce post-spinal shivering

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After general or epidural anesthesia, clonidine is known to be effective in suppressing established shivering. The aim of this study was to assess the preventive effect of intrathecal clonidine on post-spinal shivering compared with intravenous (i.v.) clonidine. Methods: 

One hundred and fifty patients scheduled for orthopedic surgery were randomly allocated into three groups to receive either 1 µg/kg clonidine i.v. (IV group) or the same volume of isotonic saline (control and IT groups) at 5 min before spinal anesthesia. Spinal anesthesia was performed with 12–15 mg hyperbaric bupivacaine 0.5% plus either 1 ml of saline (control and IV groups) or 150 µg clonidine (IT group). Shivering was evaluated for a period of 90 min and graded as none, mild, moderate, and severe. Results: 

Twenty patients (40%) in the control group and 17 patients (34%) in the IT group showed shivering compared with four (8%) in the IV group. Patients with moderate-to-severe shivering were only seen in the control and IT group, and the maximal intensity of shivering was not different between the two groups. Patients in the IV group were significantly more sedated than the other groups. Conclusions: 

The intrathecal administration of clonidine 150 µg fails to prevent post-spinal shivering; by contrast, we have confirmed that i.v. clonidine 1 µg/kg is an effective method to prevent shivering in patients undergoing spinal anesthesia for orthopedic surgery.

Keywords: clonidine; shivering; spinal anesthesia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seognam and 2: Seoul National University hospital, Seoul, South Korea

Publication date: November 1, 2005


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