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Fleckenstein, Johannes; Kramer, Sybille; Offenbaecher, Martin; Schober, Gabriel; Plischke, Herbert; Siebeck, Matthias; Mussack, Thomas; Hatz, Rudolf; Lehmeyer, Lukas; Lang, Philip M.; Heindl, Bernhard; Conzen, Peter; Irnich, Dominik: Etoricoxib - preemptive and postoperative analgesia (EPPA) in patients with laparotomy or thoracotomy - design and protocols. In: Trials 2010, 11:66




Background and Objective: Our objective was to report on the design and essentials of the Etoricoxib protocol-Preemptive and Postoperative Analgesia (EPPA) Trial, investigating whether preemptive analgesia with cox-2 inhibitors is more efficacious than placebo in patients who receive either laparotomy or thoracotomy. Design and Methods: The study is a 2 x 2 factorial armed, double blinded, bicentric, randomised placebo-controlled trial comparing (a) etoricoxib and (b) placebo in a pre- and postoperative setting. The total observation period is 6 months. According to a power analysis, 120 patients scheduled for abdominal or thoracic surgery will randomly be allocated to either the preemptive or the postoperative treatment group. These two groups are each divided into two arms. Preemptive group patients receive etoricoxib prior to surgery and either etoricoxib again or placebo postoperatively. Postoperative group patients receive placebo prior to surgery and either placebo again or etoricoxib after surgery (2 x 2 factorial study design). The Main Outcome Measure is the cumulative use of morphine within the first 48 hours after surgery (measured by patient controlled analgesia PCA). Secondary outcome parameters include a broad range of tests including sensoric perception and genetic polymorphisms. Discussion: The results of this study will provide information on the analgesic effectiveness of etoricoxib in preemptive analgesia and will give hints on possible preventive effects of persistent pain.