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The Effects of Epinephrine on the Anesthetic and Hemodynamic Properties of Ropivacaine and Bupivacaine after Epidural Administration in the Dog
  1. Ronald J. Hurley, M.D.,
  2. Richard G. Arthur, PH.D.,
  3. Hal S. Feldman, D.SC.,
  4. Benjamin G. Covino, PH.D., M.D. and
  5. Cheryl Latka, A.S.
  1. Department of Anesthesia, Research Laboratories, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts


Ropivacaine is a new local anesthetic that is chemically related to mepivacaine and bupivacaine. Previous laboratory studies have demonstrated that ropivacaine possesses an anesthetic profile similar to that of bupivacaine and has less arrhythmogenic potential. The current study was initiated to compare the hemodynamic and anesthetic effects of epidurally administered 0.75% bupivacaine and 1% ropivacaine, with and without epinephrine (1:200,000), in the dog. Two groups of six dogs were randomly assigned to the ropivacaine or bupivacaine treatment groups. Administration of 0.75% bupivacaine and 1% ropivacaine with and without epinephrine was randomized. Volumes of 3 ml of each solution were injected in a blinded manner via an indwelling lumbar epidural catheter with 48 hours between injections. No statistically significant difference existed between the four treatment groups with regard to onset and duration of sensory or motor block. Hemodynamic changes were, for the most part, not different between drugs. Significant decreases were seen in mean arterial blood pressure and cardiac output in all test groups. No difference in the degree of cardiovascular depression was observed. The addition of epinephrine did not alter onset or duration of sensory or motor block in this animal model. Epinephrine reduced the average anesthetic blood concentration observed in both treatment groups at the various time intervals, but not the time to achieve the mean maximum blood level. No residual adverse effects were observed in any animal.

  • Regional anesthesia
  • epidural anesthesia
  • ropivacaine
  • bupivacaine
  • epinephrine
  • hemodynamic effects

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