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Ann Plast Surg. 2014 Nov;73(5):598-601. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318276d8e7.

Antimicrobial effect of continuous lidocaine infusion in a Staphylococcus aureus-induced wound infection in a mouse model.

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From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City; †Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan; ‡Department of Anesthesiology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei; §Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital; and ∥Department of Eldercare, Oriental Institute of Technology, New Taipei City, Taiwan.


Continuous infusion of local anesthetics in surgical wounds has been shown to be an effective technique for postoperative analgesia. To investigate the potential antimicrobial effect of continuous local anesthetic infusion, we adapted a mouse model of surgical wound infection to examine effects on antibacterial response. Forty male BALB/c mice were randomized into 2 groups. An incision wound was made over the dorsal flank and instilled with Staphylococcus aureus. An osmotic pump was then implanted to deliver either 0.9% NaCl or 2% lidocaine continuously. Each wound was cultured postoperatively at 2 days, and the colony count of S. aureus was determined. Results showed that the number of colony-forming units of S. aureus measured in wounds treated with lidocaine displayed a nearly 10-fold reduction compared to the wounds in the saline group (P=0.009). The demonstrated antibacterial activity indicates that local anesthetic infusion may play a role in prophylaxis for surgical wound infections.

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