International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 27–38 | Cite as

Thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA) versus patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) in laparoscopic colectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Konstantinos Perivoliotis
  • Chamaidi Sarakatsianou
  • Stavroula Georgopoulou
  • George Tzovaras
  • Ioannis BaloyiannisEmail author



A meta-analysis of RCTs was designed to provide an up-to-date comparison of thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA) and patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) in laparoscopic colectomy.


Our study was completed following the PRISMA guidelines and the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. A systematic literature screening was performed in MEDLINE and Web of Science. Fixed effects (FE) or random effects (RE) models were estimated based on the Cochran Q test result.


Totally, 8 studies were introduced in the present meta-analysis. Superiority of PCA in terms of length of hospital stay (LOS) (WMD 0.73, p = 0.004) and total complication rate (OR 1.57, p = 0.02) was found. TEA had a lower resting pain visual analogue scale (VAS) score at Day 1 (WMD − 2.23, p = 0.005) and Day 2 (WMD − 2.17, p = 0.01). TEA group had also a systematically lower walking VAS. Moreover, first bowel opened time (first defecation) (WMD − 0.88, p < 0.00001) was higher when PCA was applied.


TEA was related to a lower first bowel opened time, walking, and resting pain levels at the first postoperative days. However, the overall complication rate and LOS were higher in the epidural analgesia group. Thus, for a safe conclusion to be drawn, further randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of a higher methodological and quality level are required.


TEA PCA Laparoscopic colectomy Meta-analysis 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

384_2018_3207_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (263 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 262 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity Hospital of LarissaLarissaGreece
  2. 2.Department of AnaesthesiologyUniversity Hospital of LarissaLarissaGreece

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