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PLoS One. 2017 May 2;12(5):e0176589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176589. eCollection 2017.

Analgesic effect of perineural magnesium sulphate for sciatic nerve block for diabetic toe amputation: A randomized trial.

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Department of Anesthesiology, 1st Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.
Department of Endocrinology, 1st Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.
Department of Burn, 1st Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.



High concentrations of local anesthetics may be neurotoxic for diabetic patients. Additive perineural administration of magnesium was reported to decrease the consumption of local anesthetics for nerve block. It was hypothesized that MgSO4 added to dilute ropivacaine was equianalgesic to more concentrated ropivacaine for toe amputations in diabetic patients.


Seventy diabetic patients were allocated into 3 groups: 1) perineural 200 mg MgSO4 added to 0.25% ropivacaine, 2) 0.25% ropivacaine alone, and 3) 0.375% ropivacaine alone. All patients underwent popliteal sciatic nerve block that was guided by ultrasonography using the respective regimens. Time of onset, duration of motor and sensory block were recorded. Spontaneous and evoked pain score, worst pain score, additional analgesic consumption, satisfaction score and initial time of analgesic requirement of each patient were documented up to 48 hours postoperatively.


In comparison with 0.25% ropivacaine alone, magnesium supplement prolonged the duration of sensory block (p = 0.001), as well as better evoked pain score at 6 hour postoperatively (p = 0.001). In comparison with evoked pain score (1.6/10) in group of 0.375% ropivacaine, magnesium plus 0.25% ropivacaine presented a little higher score (2.5/10) at 6 hour postoperatively (p = 0.001), while lower worst pain score (p = 0.001) and less postoperative total analgesic consumption (p = 0.002).


The regimen of adding 200mg MgSO4 to 0.25% ropivacaine for sciatic nerve block yields equal analgesic effect in comparison with 0.375% ropivacaine. These findings have suggested that supplemental MgSO4 could not improve analgesic quality except reducing the total amount of local anesthetics requirement in diabetic toe amputations with sciatic nerve blocks.

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