Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia


Over the last two decades, buprenorphine has been used for the treatment of pain, opioid addiction, and detoxification. It has unique properties, including partial agonist activity at the mu receptor, while also exhibiting antagonism at the kappa receptor. The half-life is highly variable with each patient, but it may extend up to 60 hours. In addition, even low doses will outcompete other opioids to bind receptors, rendering other opioids ineffective unless very high doses are used. Although this may be advantageous in the outpatient setting, the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of buprenorphine can complicate the perioperative management of pain when these patients present for surgery. Herein, the authors present a case during which a patient who was started on buprenorphine for addiction therapy was referred subsequently for cardiac surgery during the same inpatient hospital admission.

Medical Subject Headings

Analgesics, Opioid; Buprenorphine; Cardiac Surgical Procedures; Humans; Nerve Block; Pain Management; Pain, Postoperative

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.