A randomized comparison of low doses of hyperbaric bupivacaine in combined spinal-epidural anesthesia for cesarean delivery.Anesth Analg 2009; 109(5):1600-5A&A
The aim of our study was to investigate the block characteristics of intrathecal hyperbaric bupivacaine 7, 8, or 9 mg administered during combined spinal-epidural anesthesia for cesarean delivery and to elucidate the dose that produces adequate sensory blockade for surgery while minimizing the incidence of hypotension, high neuroblockade, and the need for intraoperative epidural supplementation.
Sixty women presenting for elective cesarean delivery were randomly assigned to one of the 3 groups. Group 7 received intrathecal hyperbaric bupivacaine 7 mg, Group 8 received 8 mg, and Group 9 received 9 mg. Women in all 3 groups received intrathecal morphine 100 microg and IV hydroxyethyl starch 15 mL/kg at the time of initiation of combined spinal-epidural anesthesia. Surgery began when a sensory level of T4 was achieved. Patients were monitored for block characteristics and side effects by a blinded observer. Our primary outcome was the maximum cephalad sensory block height.
There was a difference in the maximum extent of cephalad sensory block among groups (Group 7: median T2 [interquartile range T2-T3]; Group 8: median T2 [T1-T2]; Group 9: median T1 [C8-T2]; P = 0.02). However, the time taken to reach T4 was similar in all 3 groups. The incidence of hypotension requiring vasopressors was different among groups (30% in Group 7, 55% in Group 8, and 70% in Group 9; P = 0.04). No patient had inadequate anesthesia. Neonatal outcomes were similar in all 3 groups.
The lowest dose of hyperbaric bupivacaine (7 mg) provided equally rapid onset and effective anesthesia for cesarean delivery while reducing the incidence of hypotension compared with 8 and 9 mg. However, because of its shorter duration of anesthesia, it may be feasible only when the block can be reinforced using a functional epidural catheter.