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Parasympathetic tone activity evaluation to discriminate ketorolac and ketorolac/tramadol analgesia level in swine

Francisco M. Sánchez-Margallo, Assistant Director of NANBIOSIS and Scientific Director of JUMISC is co-author of the article “Parasympathetic tone activity evaluation to discriminate ketorolac and ketorolac/tramadol analgesia level in swine”, publish by   2018 Jun 14. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000003573. [Epub ahead of print]



Evaluation of nociceptive–antinociceptive balance during general anesthesia is still challenging and routinely based on clinical criteria. Analgesic drug delivered may be optimized with parasympathetic tone activity (PTA) monitor. This study compares ketorolac and ketorolac/tramadol balance analgesia using a PTA monitor.


Pain intensity response was assessed using a 0–100 numerical state scale (PTA) after nociceptive stimuli in pigs under stable sevoflurane anesthesia. Bispectral index, heart rate, noninvasive blood pressure, and respiratory parameters were also measured. Animals were divided into 3 groups: without analgesia, ketorolac, and ketorolac/tramadol. Mean values or mean areas under the curve (AUC) in selected time periods were compared over time and between groups through a mixed-model repeated measures analysis of variance and nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis tests, followed by Bonferroni or Dunn’s multiple comparisons.


It was observed a significant decrease in the PTA AUC mean value after application of the stimulus in animals treated without analgesia and only with ketorolac. The PTA AUC mean value in the control group was significantly lower than the corresponding mean in ketorolac group. The ketorolac/tramadol group showed the highest PTA AUC mean values, significantly different from those obtained for the other 2 groups, with no significant differences detected over time. Bispectral index means showed no statistically significant differences either over time periods or between different treatment groups. Heart rate showed only a statistically significant increase in AUC mean between without analgesia and ketorolac/tramadol group, in the time period after the stimulus application. Noninvasive blood pressure means showed no statistically significant differences over time and between treatment groups.


This study shows that a low dose combination of ketorolac and tramadol is sufficient to block the pain responses induced with a needle holder in pigs 20 minutes after its administration. The PTA monitor was able to clearly recognize the analgesic level between treatments and may be used to optimize analgesic drug delivered

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