HealthDay News — Higher daily average inpatient pain scores and higher postoperative opioid consumption are associated with a subsequent persistent opioid use of up to six months among pediatric patients undergoing major oncologic surgery, according to a study published online April 17 in Pediatric Anesthesia.

Pascal Owusu-Agyemang, M.D., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues assessed factors associated with post-discharge persistent opioid use of up to six months in a group of 86 children and adolescents (median age, 12 years) who had undergone cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

The researchers found that the proportion of patients with persistent opioid use in the immediate three, six, 12, and 24 post-discharge months were 70 percent (54 of 77 patients), 35 percent (18 of 51), 29 percent (13 of 45), and 13 percent (three of 24), respectively. For the group that subsequently developed persistent opioid use of up to six months, the daily average inpatient pain scores were higher (P < 0.01). Relatedly, higher consumption of opioids postoperatively was associated with greater odds of a subsequent persistent opioid (odds ratio, 1.03; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.07; P = 0.05).

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“The unique nature of this surgical procedure means that broad conclusions cannot be made based on our findings,” the authors write. “Further studies in other pediatric surgical populations are required to determine the associations between perioperative factors and long-term opioid use in children.”

Owusu‐Agyemang, Pascal, et al. Assessing the Survival Impact of Perioperative Opioid Consumption in Children and Adolescents Undergoing Cytoreductive Surgery with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal ChemotherapyFreshwater Biology, Wiley/Blackwell (10.1111), 17 Apr. 2017.