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Sensory Level of Subarachnoid Block: Influence of Dose, Height, and Sitting Height
  1. Luis Perez-Tamayo, MD,
  2. Blanca Zetina-Velez, MD and
  3. Antonio J. Aldrete, MD, MS
  1. Dr. Perez-Tamayo is head of the department of anesthesiology at the Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynecology Number 3, “La Raza” Medical Center, Mexican Institute of Social Security, Mexico City, where Dr. Zetina-Velez is also an anesthesiologist. Dr. Aldrete is professor and chairman of the department of anesthesiology, University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver.


The level of sensory anesthesia obtained in female patients undergoing salpingectomy under spinal anesthesia was correlated with the patient's sitting and standing heights and the dose of anesthetic injected. Volume of drug administered, speed of injection, and position were standardized. Two groups of 20 patients each received either 5 mg or 8 mg of tetracaine intrathecally; 5 mg of tetracaine produced unsatisfactory anesthesia in about 50% of patients undergoing salpingectomy. There was no correlation observed between the level of sensory anesthesia obtained and either of the heights. It was noted, however, that at this level, I mg of tetracaine usually resulted in blockade of one metameric segment above the S2 level where the dural sac ends.

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