Introduction: During caesarean section, the use of a vasopressor is often required to achieve haemodynamic stability of the parturient. Metaraminol is a vasopressor used in this context in some countries. However, the differences between metaraminol and other vasopressors remain unclear. Methods: A search of the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Embase databases was performed to identify randomised controlled trials comparing the use of metaraminol with other vasopressors during spinal anaesthesia at caesarean section. The selected studies were subjected to meta-analysis and risk-of-bias assessment. Results: Four randomised, controlled trials met the selection criteria and 409 parturients who underwent an elective caesarean section were included in this meta-analysis. The quality of these trials was good. Metaraminol was associated with higher umbilical arterial pH (standardised mean difference [SMD] 0.82, 95% CI 0.01 to 1.62, P=0.05); a lower incidence of fetal acidosis (RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01–0.63, P=0.02); and a lower incidence of nausea or vomiting (RR 0.16, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.57, P=0.0005) than was ephedrine. Metaraminol resulted in higher umbilical arterial pH (SMD 0.42, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.68, P=0.002) but a higher incidence of reactive hypertension (RR 1.80, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.46, P=0.0002) than did phenylephrine. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that for spinal anaesthesia at elective caesarean section, metaraminol may be a more suitable vasopressor than ephedrine and its effects are at least not inferior to those of phenylephrine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas