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Combined Epidural Sufentanil and Bupivacaine for Labor Analgesia
  1. Gareth H. Phillips, FFARCS
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas


This study was done to determine if the addition of sufentanil 2 μg/ml to epidural 0.125% bupivacaine would provide analgesia in labor of comparable quality to that provided by 0.25% bupivacaine. Patients (n = 50) in labor at term were randomly divided into two equal groups. Group A received epidural 0.25% bupivacaine and Group B received epidural 0.125% bupivacaine containing 2 μg/ml of sufentanil. Time to onset and quality of analgesia were comparable in both groups. There was no detectable motor block in Group B, whereas 10 patients in Group A had a mild or moderate degree of motor block. Both the total dose of bupivacaine administered and the dose rate per hour of bupivacaine were significantly lower in Group B than in Group A ( p < 0.001). Nine patients in Group B complained of mild pruritus; no other significant side effects were seen. These results demonstrate that epidural 0.125% bupivacaine with sufentanil 2 μg/ml can be substituted for 0.25% bupivacaine for labor analgesia. Benefits to the patient include minimal motor block and decreased risk of drug toxicity, as the dose of bupivacaine is reduced.

  • Anesthetic technique
  • epidural
  • Analgesia
  • obstetric
  • Analgesic
  • sufentanil
  • Local Anesthetic
  • bupivacaine

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