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Effect of Epidural 0.25% Bupivacaine on Somatosensory Evoked Potentials to Dermatomal Stimulation
  1. Claus Lund, M.D.,
  2. Ole Bo Hansen, M.D. and
  3. Henrik Kehlet, M.D.
  1. From the Departments of Anaesthesiology and Surgical Gastroenterology, Hvidovre University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark


The effect of lumbar epidural analgesia with similar volumes (about 25 ml) of 0.25% and 0.5% bupivacaine on early (< 0.5 seconds) somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to electrical stimulation of the S1, L1, and T10 dermatomes was examined in two groups of ten patients. Level of sensory analgesia to pinprick was T5.7 ± 0.8 and T6.4 ± 0.7 in the 0.25% and 0.5% bupivacaine group, respectively. Motor blockade was more pronounced in the 0.5% bupivacaine group ( p < 0.05). Despite similar analgesia to pinprick, SEPs were more reduced during 0.5% bupivacaine than during 0.25%. These results support previous findings that quantitative assessment of neural blockade by SEP measurements may be more precise than pinprick analgesia.

  • Epidural analgesia
  • 0.25% and 0.5% plain bupivacaine
  • somatosensory evoked potentials

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