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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094
On-line version ISSN 1806-907X


IMBELLONI, Luiz Eduardo; BEATO, Lúcia; GOUVEIA, Marildo A  and  CORDEIRO, José Antônio. Low dose isobaric, hyperbaric, or hypobaric bupivacaine for unilateral spinal anesthesia. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2007, vol.57, n.3, pp.261-270. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Unilateral spinal anesthesia has its advantages, especially in patients undergoing outpatient basis surgeries. Low dose, slow speed of administration, and the lateral positioning make easier the unilateral distribution in spinal anesthesia. Isobaric, hyperbaric, and hypobaric solutions of bupivacaine were compared in the unilateral spinal anesthesia in patients undergoing outpatient basis orthopedic surgeries. METHODS: One hundred and fifty patients were randomly divided in three groups to receive 5 mg of 0.5% isobaric bupivacaine (Iso Group), 5 mg of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine (Hyper Group), or 5 mg of 0.15% hypobaric bupivacaine (Hypo Group). The solutions were administered in the L3-L4 space with the patient in the lateral decubitus and remaining in this position for 20 minutes. Sensitive anesthesia was evaluated by the pin prick test. Motor blockade was determined by the modified Bromage scale. Both blockades were compared with the opposite side and among themselves. RESULTS: There was a significant difference between the side of the surgery and the opposite side in all three groups at 20 minutes, but the frequency of unilateral spinal anesthesia was greater with the hyperbaric and hypobaric solutions. Sensitive and motor blockades were observed in 14 patients in the Iso Group, 38 patients in the Hyper Group, and 40 patients in the Hypo Group. Patients did not develop any hemodynamic changes. Postpuncture headache and transitory neurological symptoms were not observed. CONCLUSIONS: Spinal anesthesia with hypobaric and hyperbaric solutions present a higher frequency of unilateral anesthesia. After 20 minutes, isobaric bupivacaine mobilized into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) resulted in unilateral spinal anesthesia in only 28% of the patients.

Keywords : ANESTHETICS [bupivacaine]; ANESTHETIC TECHNIQUES, Regional [unilateral spinal block]; SURGERY, Orthopedics.

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