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Persistent Post-Op Opioid Use in Young Cancer Patients Explored

Higher inpatient pain scores linked to persistent use after major oncologic surgery for children, teens

girl being examined

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Higher inpatient pain scores and postoperative opioid consumption are associated with persistent opioid use of up to six months among children and adolescents who have undergone cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, according to a study published in a recent issue of Pediatric Anesthesia.

Pascal Owusu-Agyemang, M.D., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues examined the prevalence and factors associated with development of persistent opioid use in a retrospective cohort study of patients aged 19 years and younger. Eighty-six children and adolescents (median age, 12 years) who had undergone cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy were included.

The researchers found that over the immediate three, six, 12, and 24 post-discharge months the proportion of patients with persistent opioid use was 70, 35, 29, and 13 percent, respectively. Children who subsequently developed persistent opioid use of up to six months had higher daily average inpatient pain scores (estimated difference, 0.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.3 to 0.8; P < 0.01). There was a correlation for higher postoperative opioid consumption with greater odds of a subsequent persistent opioid use of up to six months (odds ratio, 1.03; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.05; P = 0.05).

"Further studies in other pediatric surgical populations are required to determine the associations between perioperative factors and long-term opioid use in children," the authors write.

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