The effects of lumbar epidural and general anesthesia given for caesarean section on intervillous blood flow were studied in 19 healthy women during the last few weeks of normal pregnancy by using a new intravenous 133Xe method. In lumbar epidural anesthesia, the mean decrease of intervillous blood flow was not significant. After the induction of general anesthesia, the decrease of intervillous blood flow was highly significant. The mean percentage change of intervillous blood flow after epidural anesthesia was -13%; after general anesthesia, -35%. These percentage changes did not significantly differ statistically from each other.
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