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The effect of epinephrine on small-dose hyperbaric bupivacaine spinal anesthesia: clinical implications for ambulatory surgery



The effect of epinephrine on small-dose hyperbaric bupivacaine spinal anesthesia: clinical implications for ambulatory surgery



Anesthesia and Analgesia 86(5): 973-977



The effect of adding epinephrine to small doses of spinal bupivacaine on the duration of sensory motor block has not been carefully investigated. Twelve volunteers underwent hyperbaric bupivacaine spinal anesthesia (7.5 mg) with and without epinephrine (0.2 mg) in a randomized double-blind, cross-over fashion. Sensory block was assessed with pinprick, transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) equivalent to surgical stimulation (at umbilicus, pubis, knee, and ankle), and tolerance of a pneumatic thigh tourniquet. Motor block was assessed with isometric force dynamometry. Discharge criteria were defined as return of pinprick sensation to dermatome S2, ability to ambulate, and ability to urinate. Extent of sensory block to pinprick over time was unaffected by the addition of epinephrine. However, epinephrine prolonged tolerance of TES at the pubis, knee, and ankle (33-48 min, P < 0.05) and of thigh tourniquet (30 min, P < 0.01). Motor block was prolonged by epinephrine at the quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles (by 23 and 51 min, respectively, P < 0.002). Achievement of discharge criteria was prolonged by 48 min by the addition of epinephrine (P < 0.01). Thus, epinephrine may prolong surgical anesthesia for lower abdominal and lower extremity surgery and delay time until patients achieve discharge criteria. Implications: Using a cross-over study design, 12 volunteers underwent bupivacaine spinal anesthesia with and without epinephrine. This study suggests that adding epinephrine to bupivacaine may prolong surgical anesthesia and also delay patients' discharge.

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Accession: 009562028

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PMID: 9585279



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