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Table 1 Summary of RCTs included in the meta-analysis

From: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the efficacy of thoracic epidural anesthesia in preventing atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass grafting

First author/Year of publication No. of subjects Surgery type CABG technology TEA continued postoperatively TEA Perioperative management of TEA Primary endpoint? POAF Study design/Jadad score
Jidéus/2001 [15] 121 elective CABG CPB Unclear T2-T5, the day before surgery Intraoperative: bupivacaine 5 mg/mL, with an infusion rate of 4 to 8 mL/h. Postoperative: continuous infusion of bupivacaine (2 mg/mL) and sufentanil (1 mg/mL) epidurally (3 to 7 mL/h) Yes 13/41 29/80 RCT/2
Nygard/2004 [16] 163 elective CABG CPB 4 days T1-T3, the day before surgery Intraoperative and postoperative : bolus doses of 4 mL of bupivacaine, 5 mg/mL, given hourly Yes 28/79 25/84 RCT/3
Bakhtiary/2007 [17] 132 elective CABG OPCAB 3 days T1-T3, the day before surgery Preoperative and postoperative: continuous infusion with ropivacaine 0.16 % and sufentanil 1 g/mL at an hourly rate of 2 to 5 mL was started after a bolus dose of 6 mL Yes 2/66 18/66 RCT/2
Tenenbein/2008 [18] 50 elective or semi-elective CABG CPB 2 days T2-T5, at least four hours prior to systemic heparinization Intraoperative: 5-mL bolus of 0.75% ropivacaine and 200 μg of hydromorphone in the epidural catheter, followed by infusion of 0.75 % ropivacaine at 5 mL/h. Postoperative: continuous infusion lasting 48 h and consisting of 0.2 % ropivacaine, with 15 μg/mL of hydromorphone titrated. No 6/25 9/25 RCT/3
Caputo/2009 [19] 74 elective CABG OPCAB 3 days T2-T4, before induction of anesthesia Intraoperative and postoperative: continuous infusion of 0.125 % bupivacaine and 0.0003 % clonidine (150 g in 500 mL) at an initial rate of 10 mL/h No 7/36 18/38 RCT/3
  1. CABG, coronary artery bypass surgery; OPCAB, off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting; CPB, cardiopulmonary bypass; TEA, thoracic epidural anesthesia; GA, general anesthesia; POAF, postoperative atrial fibrillation; RCT, randomized controlled trial.