Background and Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate if a ten-fold difference in speed of injection of a plain solution of bupivacaine 0.5% at room temperature into the subarachnoid space would result in a temperature-dependent change in baricity large enough to be reflected in a significant difference between the maximum levels of sensory blockade.
Methods. In this prospective study, 40 male patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Group 1 patients received 3 ml plain bupivacaine 0.5% (20-22°C) with the speed of injection as fast as possible. Group 2 patients received 3 ml plain bupivacaine 0.5% (20-22°C at a rate of 0.05 ml/sec. Thirty minutes after subarachnoid injection the maximum level of sensory blockade was determined by pinprick in the anterior axillary line by a blinded observer.
Results. The mean maximum level of sensory blockade in patients of group 1 was T7.5 (median, T7; range, T3-12) and in group 2 patients T6.4 (median, 5.5; range, T3-11), the difference not being statistically significant (p > 0.05).
Conclusions. There is no clinically relevant influence on the maximum level of sensory blockade when bupivacaine 0.5% at room temperature is injected with a ten-fold difference in speed.
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The authors thank Laraine Visser-Isles for English language editing and Harvey J. Wong Loi Sing for technical assistance.