Intrauterine anesthesia for gynecologic procedures: a systematic review.
(Journal Article;Review;Systematic Review)
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of intrauterine local anesthesia in reducing pain associated with outpatient gynecologic procedures. DATA SOURCES: We searched online databases PubMed or MEDLINE, Embase, Google Scholar, and Clinicaltrials.gov and hand-searched reference lists from reviews evaluating pain-control methods for gynecologic office procedures. We identified randomized controlled trials using intrauterine local anesthetic in gynecologic procedures. METHODS: Titles and abstracts were screened for 1,236 articles. We identified 45 potential articles for inclusion. We excluded 22 of these studies because: 1) they were not randomized controlled trials; 2) they did not describe a quantifiable dose of medication used in the study; 3) they did not investigate an intrauterine anesthetic; 4) they did not study a potentially awake, outpatient procedure; and 5) they did not clearly report results or represented duplicate publication. Twenty-three articles were ultimately included for review. TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS: Two authors independently reviewed full search results and assessed eligibility for inclusion and independently abstracted data from all articles that met criteria for inclusion. Disagreements regarding eligibility or abstraction data were adjudicated by a third independent person. Our primary end point was the reported effect of intrauterine local anesthesia on patient-reported pain scores. As a result of heterogeneity in study methods, outcome measures, and reporting of outcomes, results could not be combined in a meta-analysis. Good evidence supports use of intrauterine anesthesia in endometrial biopsy and curettage, because five good-quality studies reported reduced pain scores, whereas only one good-quality study reported negative results. We found moderate evidence to support intrauterine anesthesia in hysteroscopy, because one good-quality study and two fair or poor quality studies reported reduced pain scores, whereas two good-quality studies had negative results. Good evidence suggests that intrauterine anesthesia is not effective in hysterosalpingography; three good-quality studies reported that pain scores were not reduced, and no good quality studies showed a beneficial effect in that procedure. Evidence was insufficient concerning first-trimester abortion, saline-infusion ultrasonogram, tubal sterilization, and intrauterine device insertion. CONCLUSION: Intrauterine local anesthesia can reduce pain in several gynecologic procedures including endometrial biopsy, curettage, and hysteroscopy and may be effective in other procedures as well.
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