Skin temperature during sympathetic block: a clinical comparison of bupivacaine 0.5% and ropivacaine 0.5% or 0.75%.

Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, Unit of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Florence, Italy.
Anaesthesia and intensive care (Impact Factor: 1.47). 07/2006; 34(3):334-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Measurement of skin temperature can be used as an indicator of sympathetic blockade induced by neuraxial anaesthesia. The aim of the study was to test the skin temperature response to epidural administration of bupivacaine and different concentrations of ropivacaine. Forty-eight ASA class I-II patients undergoing herniorraphy were enrolled into a prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Patients were randomly allocated to receive epidural anaesthesia with a single dose of 18 ml of bupivacaine 0.5% (n=16); ropivacaine 0.5% (n=16), or ropivacaine 0.75% (n=16). A temperature probe was positioned on the skin of the thigh and skin temperature registered before epidural anaesthesia, every 10 minutes for the first hour after the epidural injection and every hour for the following four hours. Sensory blockade was assessed by pinprick and motor blockade using the Bromage scale. No significant difference was observed in sensory or motor blockade. A skin temperature rise of 1 to 1.8 degrees C compared with basal values was observed in all patients within the first hour. Temperature returned to basal values within four hours in the ropivacaine 0.5% group, within five hours in the ropivacaine 0.75% group, and remained 1 degrees C higher after five hours in the bupivacaine 0.5% group (P<0.01). The duration of sympathetic block is significantly shorter with ropivacaine than with bupivacaine.

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