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The growth of microorganisms in propofol and mixtures of propofol and lidocaine

The growth of microorganisms in propofol and mixtures of propofol and lidocaine

Anesthesia and Analgesia 88(1): 209-212

Propofol emulsion supports bacterial growth. Extrinsic contamination of propofol has been implicated as an etiological event in postsurgical infections. When added to propofol, local anesthetics (e.g., lidocaine) alleviate the pain associated with injecting it. Because local anesthetics have antimicrobial activity, we determined whether lidocaine would inhibit microbial growth by comparing the growth of four microorganisms in propofol and in mixtures of propofol and lidocaine. Known quanta of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans were inoculated into solutions of 1% propofol, 0.2% lidocaine in propofol, 0.5% lidocaine in propofol, 0.5% lidocaine in isotonic sodium chloride solution, and 0.9% isotonic sodium chloride solution. All microorganisms were taken from stock cultures and incubated for 24 h. Growth of microorganisms in each solution was compared by counting the number of colony-forming units grown from a subculture of the solution at 0, 3, 6, 12 and 24 h. Propofol supported the growth of E. coli and C. albicans. Propofol maintained static levels of S. aureus and was bactericidal toward P. aeruginosa. The addition of 0.2% and 0.5% lidocaine to propofol failed to prevent the growth of the studied microorganisms. The effect of 0.5% lidocaine in isotonic sodium chloride solution did not differ from the effects of isotonic sodium chloride solution alone. We conclude that lidocaine, when added to propofol in clinically acceptable concentrations, does not exhibit antimicrobial properties. Implications: Local anesthetics such as lidocaine have antimicrobial activity. Propofol supports the growth of bacteria responsible for infection. Bacteria were added to propofol and propofol mixed with lidocaine. The addition of lidocaine to propofol in clinically relevant concentrations did not prevent the growth of bacteria. The addition of lidocaine to propofol cannot prevent infection from contaminated propofol.

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Accession: 011511218

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9895094

DOI: 10.1097/00000539-199901000-00039

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