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Laura Mendez-Pino




Research Associate




Research Scientist




Laura Mendez-Pino MD, Linda S Aglio MD MS, Leah A Baez MD, Samuel Justice PhD, Sarah Corey PhD, Kara G. Fields MS, Ali Oran PhD, Reem Abbaker BS, Elisabetta Mezzalira RN MSc, Richard D. Urman MD MBA

The impact of Sublingual Sufentanil on Postoperative Pain Control in Patients Undergoing Spine Surgery

Participation in the Women in Medicine and Science Symposium would further my goal of becoming an Anesthesiology Researcher within an academic medicine setting, enabling me to provide research-driven innovation for clinical practice using clinically based observations and resources to inspire research. As a Research Scientist and Project Manager, I lead a dynamic group of seven research assistants, managing three NIH-funded studies, and five industry-funded studies. I am now co-author on two manuscripts that are in press, and presentation of this abstract at the Women in Medicine and Science Symposium would give me essential presentation experience to foster my research career.

Background: Spine surgery patients experience significant pain post-surgery. The FDA approved Sublingual Sufentanil Tablet (SST), Dsuvia®, to reduce pain, time in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), and long-term opioid consumption. This study assessed the impact of perioperative SST on PACU pain scores as additional postoperative analgesic regimen for spine surgery.

Methods: IRB-approved, prospective cohort, two-arm historical control study included patients that received standard general anesthetic with the exception that the prospective arm received SST right after extubation and SST q1h in the PACU for NRS>3 (neither control arms received SST). Patients were >18 years old undergoing spine surgery (up to 3 levels), with ASA PS classification 1-3, and a planned inpatient stay. Multivariable linear regression with inverse probability of treatment weights was used to evaluate the association between SST and PACU pain scores.

Results: N=190 patients were analyzed (Table 1). Linear regression showed that patients receiving SST had a 2.20 point lower PACU pain score (p<0.001) than patients receiving Remifentanil and a 1.75 point lower pain score (p<0.001) than patients receiving Sufentanil (Table 2).

Conclusion: SST demonstrates an effective alternative analgesic therapy in spine surgery patients who experience moderate to severe postoperative pain, resulting in reduced pain scores postoperatively.