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Br J Anaesth. 2008 Jul;101(1):45-7. doi: 10.1093/bja/aen101. Epub 2008 May 16.

Novel ideas of local anaesthetic actions on various ion channels to ameliorate postoperative pain.

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Pain Research Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115-6110, USA.


This review considers the ion channels that underlie transduction of nociceptive energies in the periphery, that are involved in impulse initiation and propagation in peripheral sensory neurones, and that participate in pre- and post-synaptic actions in the spinal cord dorsal horn, in light of their susceptibility to local anaesthetics. Although there are results from experiments on isolated cells and tissues ex vivo that support the hypothesized actions, their extrapolation to actions in vivo and the consequences for peri- and postoperative pain control are largely speculative.

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