Comparison of PIEB vs CEI for Labor Analgesia

2016-11-01 07:23:21 | BioPortfolio


The aim of this prospective, doubled-blinded randomized study is to compare two modes of epidural analgesia delivery, programmed intermittent epidural boluses (PIEB) versus continuous epidural infusion (CEI) with patient controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) dosing, for providing labor epidural analgesia. The primary outcome will be the volume of local anesthetic received through PCEA. Secondary outcomes will measure time to first PCEA bolus, labor pain scores, degree of motor blockade, mode of delivery, PCEA attempts and ratio of successful to unsuccessful attempts, frequency of hypotension, duration of first and second stages of labor and level of patient satisfaction. The investigator plans to enroll 120 nulliparous participants at 2-5 com cervical dilation, with 60 patients to each arm. The subject will be assigned to receive either delivery of epidural medication ropivacaine 0.1% with fentanyl 2mcg/mL with PIEB + PCEA dosing method or CEI + PCEA. Continuous data will be analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test or t-test as appropriate. Categorical data will be analyzed using Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test as appropriate.


Labor pain during childbirth is regarded as one of the most painful experiences in a woman's life with the potential to cause lasting emotional and psychological effects. Childbirth has also been associated with the development of chronic pain with the prevalence of between 4-10% after cesarean section and 6-18% after vaginal delivery. Hence, effective management of labor pain is instrumental in preventing the development of life altering chronic pain in women of childbearing age. Maintaining epidural analgesia with combined local anesthetic and an opioid is considered extremely safe and leads to superior neonatal and maternal short and long-term outcomes. Historically, maintenance of epidural analgesia involved intermittent provider-administered bolus injections, patient controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) and continuous epidural infusions (CEI) with or without PCEA for breakthrough pain or discomfort. CEI has been shown to provide consistent analgesia in addition to improved patient satisfaction and reduced workload for the anesthesia providers. However, CEI is associated with greater local anesthetic consumption and increased maternal motor blockade. Increased motor block is associated with reduced mobility, decreased pelvic muscle tone and impaired ability for the parturient to adequately Valsalva during the second stage of labor. Motor blockade is also associated with increased incidence of shoulder dystocia and instrumental deliveries, which precipitate birth trauma to the fetus and the mother. Achieving adequate analgesia during labor, without compromising motor function is critical for optimizing both short-term and long-term outcomes for the mother and the neonate.

A more novel approach to labor analgesia involves the administration of small, programmed intermittent epidural boluses (PIEB) with PCEA dosing for breakthrough pain. Preliminary studies have indicated that PIEB could be a superior method of labor analgesia compared to current standard of care, CEI. A randomized double-blind study by Wong et al. compared CEI and PIEB incorporating the use of PCEA for breakthrough pain in healthy parturients with singleton pregnancies. Results suggested that the cohort receiving PIEB required less local anesthetic use, had similar analgesia and improved patient satisfaction when compared with CEI. Additionally, a subsequent study by Wong et al found that in healthy, term, nulliparous women in spontaneous labor, extending the PIEB interval and increasing volume decreased local anesthetic consumption, PCEA requests or rescue analgesia requirements without increasing patient discomfort or compromising satisfaction. Two subsequent studies allocating women to receive either PIEB or CEI in nulliparous parturients and women terminating pregnancy suggested PIEB recipients experienced less motor blockade when compared to those receiving CEI.

The investigator has recently performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing the effects of labor analgesia with either PIEB or CEI with or without PCEA in laboring women. The meta-analysis included 9 studies and evaluated various primary outcomes including: patient satisfaction, required manual anesthesia interventions, labor progression and mode of delivery (vaginal, instrumental or cesarean delivery). Secondary outcomes included: degree of motor blockade, degree of sensory blockade, time to first anesthetic intervention, local anesthetic dose delivered per hour, pruritus, shivering, maternal fever, nausea and vomiting, neonatal Apgar scores at 1 minute and 5 minutes, and umbilical artery and vein pH. PIEB dosing of local anesthetic was associated with reduced local anesthetic consumption, decreased required anesthetic interventions, and an improvement in maternal satisfaction in comparison to laboring women receiving CEI. Pooled results indicated that PIEB and CEI were comparable with regard to the duration of first stage labor, but there was a statistically significant 22 min reduction in the length of stage two of labor with PIEB. Similarly, this review did not suggest statistically significant differences in cesarean delivery rate or required anesthetic intervention between CEI and PIEB. There were several limitations to these preliminarily studies. While, each of the 9 studies reported at least one primary outcome listed in the systematic review, none of the studies included all primary outcomes. Additionally, most studies only involved nulliparous women, which may limit the ability to apply results to multiparous women. Furthermore, many of these studies involved the use of two pumps, one to deliver CEI or PEIB and another to deliver PCEA in a research setting, or involved the use of non-commercially available research pumps.

Currently the CADD solis v 3.0 pump system has been upgraded to allow the co-administration of epidural anesthesia with PIEB or CEI and PCEA. This new technology has been available on the labor and delivery unit of Duke University Medical Center as the standard of care since March 2015. This new pump differs from those used in the preliminary studies, which utilized a two-pump approach to administer PIEB or CEI and PCEA for labor pain relief. Preliminary studies have not identified optimal PIEB settings, bolus volumes, lock out intervals, or drug concentrations, which represents a gap in literature at the present time. The investigator performed a retrospective study to explore whether PIEB was associated with reduced LA use, PCEA use and rescue analgesia in comparison to CEI in laboring women. The investigator also assessed whether PIEB decreased the number of instrumental deliveries and reduced motor blockade, which serves as an impediment to the progression of labor. The study divided patients into three groups. The first received CEI 5mL/hour, the second received PIEB 5mL every 60 min, the third used PIEB of 3mL every 30 min. Each group had access to PCEA set to 5 mL boluses with an 8-minute lockout period and maximum of 35mL per hour. The results of the study did not suggest what was expected as the study revealed no statistically significant difference between the LA consumption, amount of motor blockade or mode of delivery for patients receiving CEI or PEIB when using the single pump system instead of two-pump system employed by prior studies. However, this study did suggest patients who received PIEB regimen of 3mL every 30 minutes used a lower PCEA volume than patients receiving CEI. Patients receiving PEIB regimens had more attempts/PCEA given than the CEI patients and the PIEB 3ml/30 minute group had more unsuccessful PCEA attempts/hour than CEI recipients.

This study, unlike prior studies comparing PIEB vs. CEI with PCEA, used more concentrated solutions consisting of double the concentration and half the volume of bupivacaine. One of the investigators speculations is that larger boluses of a more dilute LA may have improved dissemination in the epidural space and thus improved analgesia. This study interpreted PCEA attempts/given and the number of unsuccessful PCEA attempts/hour as reflections of patient pain or discomfort, as an attempt is interpreted as an effort to achieve better pain relief. Another way to interpret the aforementioned PCEA attempts is as representation of the amount of time a patient "locked out" or prevented from receiving additional boluses of PCEA. Hence, a limitation of this study is the fact that patient satisfaction scores were not collected as they could help distinguish whether attempts reflect the lockout period or inadequate analgesia. Other limitations of this retrospective study include the fact that explicit instructions about how to properly use the PCEA was not standardized, and the fact that patient satisfaction or pain scores were not garnered due to the study's retrospective nature. Probably one of the most significant limitations of this study was the fact that patients were not randomized to treatment groups. Hence, the providers chose the analgesia received. On the other hand, another retrospective study utilizing a more dilute concentration of local anesthetic reported reduced need for physician interventions with PIEB compared to CEI. The investigators have recently switched the local anesthetic in our practice from bupivacaine 0.125 % to a more dilute concentration of ropivacaine 0.1% mixed with fentanyl 2 mcg/ml. The investigator therefore aims to prospectively study if the use of PIEB with the new epidural solution would be associated with improved analgesia compared to a regimen using CEI.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Supportive Care


Labor Pain


Programmed Intermittent Epidural Bolus, Continuous Epidural Infusion, Ropivacaine, Fentanyl


Duke University Medical Center
North Carolina
United States


Not yet recruiting


Duke University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-11-01T07:23:21-0400

Clinical Trials [2754 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

The Effect of Programmed Intermittent Epidural Bolus Versus Continuous Epidural Infusion on Postoperative Analgesia in Pediatric Patients

The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of a programmed intermittent bolus injection method compared to conventional continuous infusion in the management of epidural analgesia i...

Comparison of Programmed Intermittent Epidural Bolus With Continuous Epidural Infusion for Labor Epidural Analgesia

Sixteen million babies were born in 2010, approximately half were by cesarean. Labor analgesia should be the first choice for these parturients based on the consideration of security and h...

The Programmed Intermittent Epidural Bolus Adrenaline Study

This study evaluates the use of intermittent epidural boluses compared to continuous infusion in maintaining epidural pain relief in labor. The medicine solution used contains, in additio...

A Comparison of Epidural Analgesia: Continuous Infusion Versus Programmed Intermittent Boluses

The analgesic approach in labor can be done in different ways, among which the neuraxial approach has shown the best analgesic results and fetal outcomes. Currently, programmed epidural in...

Programmed Intermittent Epidural Bolus Versus Continuous Infusion in Labour Analgesia

This study aims to establish if programmed intermittent epidural bolus combined to patient controlled analgesia in labour analgesia will lower the hourly bupivacaine consumption when compa...

PubMed Articles [3951 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Do Epidural Catheter Size and Flow Rate Affect Bolus Injection Pressure in Different Programmed Intermittent Epidural Bolus Regimens? An In Vitro Study.

The optimal programmed intermittent epidural bolus regimen for labor analgesia remains unknown. Some studies indicate that better drug spread in the epidural space results from greater injection press...

Bolus epidural infusion improves spread compared with continuous infusion in a cadaveric porcine spine model.

The administration of epidural anesthesia during labor is a common technique used to reduce the pain of childbirth. We sought to compare standard infusion strategies of continuous epidural infusions (...

Relationship between Dose of Bolus Dialysate Infusion and Blood Pressure in Intermittent Infusion Hemodiafiltration.

Intermittent infusion hemodiafiltration is a recently developed convective method of renal replacement therapy using cyclic back-filtration infusion. Quick and regular infusion prevents intradialyti...

Evolving Paediatric Epidural Practice - An Institution's Clinical Experience Over 20 Years.

Epidural analgesia is an effective, established peri-operative intervention in all age groups. In children, however, epidural-related data is limited compared to the adult population. The aim of this ...

Intravenous infusion of dexmedetomidine amplifies thoracic epidural analgesic effect after open thoracotomy: A prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial.

The anesthetic-sparing effect of dexmedetomidine has led to its use as a general adjuvant. The present study aimed to determine intravenous infusion of dexmedetomidine to epidural analgesia after open...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The injection of autologous blood into the epidural space either as a prophylactic treatment immediately following an epidural puncture or for treatment of headache as a result of an epidural puncture.

The relief of pain without loss of consciousness through the introduction of an analgesic agent into the epidural space of the vertebral canal. It is differentiated from ANESTHESIA, EPIDURAL which refers to the state of insensitivity to sensation.

A rare epidural hematoma in the spinal epidural space, usually due to a vascular malformation (CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM VASCULAR MALFORMATIONS) or TRAUMA. Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma is a neurologic emergency due to a rapidly evolving compressive MYELOPATHY.

Circumscribed collections of suppurative material occurring in the spinal or intracranial EPIDURAL SPACE. The majority of epidural abscesses occur in the spinal canal and are associated with OSTEOMYELITIS of a vertebral body; ANALGESIA, EPIDURAL; and other conditions. Clinical manifestations include local and radicular pain, weakness, sensory loss, URINARY INCONTINENCE, and FECAL INCONTINENCE. Cranial epidural abscesses are usually associated with OSTEOMYELITIS of a cranial bone, SINUSITIS, or OTITIS MEDIA. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p710 and pp1240-1; J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1998 Aug;65(2):209-12)

Procedure in which an anesthetic is injected into the epidural space.

More From BioPortfolio on "Comparison of PIEB vs CEI for Labor Analgesia"

Quick Search

Relevant Topics

Anesthesia is the loss of feeling or sensation in all or part of the body. It may result from damage to nerves or can be induced by an anesthetist (a medical professional) using anesthetics such as thiopental or propofol or sevoflurane during a surgical ...

Pain Disorder
Pain is a feeling (sharp or dull) triggered in the nervous system which can be transient or constant. Pain can be specific to one area of the body eg back, abdomen or chest or more general all over the body eg muscles ache from the flu. Without pain ...

Searches Linking to this Trial