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Anesth Pain Med. 2018 Oct 15;8(5):e69600. doi: 10.5812/aapm.69600. eCollection 2018 Oct.

Comparison of Adding Sufentanil and Low-Dose Epinephrine to Bupivacaine in Spinal Anesthesia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Clinical Trial.

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Pain Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Anesthesiology, Imam Reza Hospital, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.



Spinal anesthesia, as an effective approach, is widely performed in various surgeries with possible complications. To reduce the side effects, many adjuvants are used to maintain desirable sensory and motor blockades and increase the quality and prolong the analgesia.


In the current double-blind, randomized clinical trial, 105 participants aged 18 - 60 years with ASA class I or II who were candidate for lower limb surgery were randomly allocated to patients receiving bupivacaine 15 mg + normal saline 1 mL (B group), bupivacaine 15 mg + epinephrine 10 µg (BE group), and bupivacaine 15 mg + sufentanyl 5 µg (BS group). Onset of sensory blockade was determined bilaterally with the pinprick test. The maximum Bromage scale was assessed for the onset of motor blockage. Recovery from sensory and motor blockades was also evaluated. Pain score (visual analogue scale; VAS) was determined for all participants.


Onset of sensory and motor blockades was statistically different among the groups. Intrathecal bupivacaine (the placebo group) had the lowest onset of sensory blockage, whereas the onset of motor blockade was significantly shorter with the administration of sufentanil + epinephrine (P = 0.001) (BS and BE groups). However, epinephrine (BE group) did not significantly prolong sensory and motor blockade. Recovery time from sensory and motor blockade was significantly lower with the bupivacaine alone (the placebo group).


The current study results suggested that the combination of 10 µg epinephrine and 5 µg sufentanil + bupivacaine did not prolong the sensory and motor blockades in spinal anesthesia for lower limb surgery, compared with bupivacaine alone.


Bupivacaine; Epinephrine; Spinal Anesthesia; Sufentanil

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