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A Comparison of Meperidine and Lidocaine for Spinal Anesthesia for Postpartum Tubal Ligation
  1. M. C. Norris, M.D.,
  2. J. E. Honet, M.D.,
  3. B. L. Leighton, M.D. and
  4. V. A. Arkoosh, M.D.
  1. Department of Anesthesiology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  1. Reprint requests: Mark C. Norris, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


Background and Objectives This study compares the anesthetic potency, duration, and side effects of subarachnoid meperidine and lidocaine for postpartum tubal ligation.

Method Twenty healthy, unpremedicated postpartum women gave written informed consent to participate in this randomized double-blind study. After intravenous infusion of 200 mL physiologic salt solution, patients received subarachnoid injections of either lidocaine 70 mg in 7.5% glucose or meperidine 60 mg in saline while lying in the right lateral position. Heart rate, blood pressure, sensory and motor block, pain, nausea, and pruritus were recorded at intervals for up to 12 hours after injection. The time to first postoperative analgesic was also recorded.

Results There were no differences between the groups in demographics, heart rate, or blood pressure at any time. Sensory or motor block developed slightly faster in the lidocaine group. One patient in each group required general anesthesia owing to inadequate sensory block. Beginning at 60 minutes, meperidine patients experienced more pruritus (P < .05). Lidocaine patients had more postoperative pain (P < .01) and required supplemental analgesia 83.3 ± 32.7 minutes after induction versus 447.6 ± 184.0 minutes in the meperidine group. No patient's oxygen saturation fell below 95%. Patients expressed equal satisfaction with both agents.

Conclusions Subarachnoid meperidine and lidocaine both provide adequate anesthesia for postpartum tubal ligation. Meperidine provided longer postoperative analgesia.

  • meperidine
  • lidocaine
  • spinal
  • postpartum tubal ligation

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  • Data presented at the Annual Meeting of The American Society of Anesthesiologists in October 1991, San Francisco, California.

    Work was completed at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.