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J Anesth. 2000 Apr 25;14(2):73-6.

Reinforcement of spinal anesthesia by epidural injection of saline: a comparison of hyperbaric and isobaric tetracaine.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, South 1, West 16, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-0061, Japan.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

An epidural injection of saline was reported to extend spinal anesthesia because of a volume effect. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the baricity of spinal local anesthetics upon the extension of spinal anesthesia by epidural injection of saline.

METHODS:

Forty patients undergoing elective lower-limb surgery were randomly allocated to four groups of 10 patients each. Group A received no epidural injection after the spinal administration of hyperbaric tetracaine (dissolved in 10% glucose). Group B received an epidural injection of 8 ml of physiological saline 20 min after spinal hyperbaric tetracaine. Group C received no epidural injection after spinal isobaric tetracaine (dissolved in physiological saline). Group D received an epidural injection of 8 ml of saline 20 min after spinal isobaric tetracaine. The level of analgesia was examined by the pinprick method at 5-min intervals.

RESULTS:

The levels of analgesia 20 min after spinal anesthesia were significantly higher in hyperbaric groups than in isobaric groups [T5 (T2-L2) vs. T7 (T3-12)]. After epidural injection of saline, the levels of analgesia in groups B and D were significantly higher than in groups A and C. The segmental increases after epidural saline injection were 2 (0-3) in group B and 2 (1-7) in group D. Sensation in the sacral area remained 20 min after spinal block in one patient in group D; however, it disappeared after epidural saline injection.

CONCLUSION:

In this study, 8 ml of epidural saline extended spinal analgesia. However, there was no difference between the augmenting effect in isobaric and hyperbaric spinal anesthesia. We conclude that the reinforcement of spinal anesthesia by epidural injection of saline is not affected by the baricity of the spinal anesthetic solution used.

PMID:
14564594
DOI:
10.1007/s005400050070

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