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Subarachnoid Neostigmine Does Not Affect Blood Pressure or Heart Rate During Bupivacaine Spinal Anesthesia
  1. G. R. Lauretti, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D. and
  2. M. P. Reis, M.D., Ph.D.
  1. Anesthesiology Section, Department of Surgery, Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Hospital das Clinicas of the Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Reprint requests: G. R. Lauretti, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., Rua Mantiqueira 460, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil 14025/600.


Background and Objectives Intraspinal administration of neostigmine has been shown to prevent induction of hypotension in rats by bupivacaine spinal block, and thus to provide greater hemodynamic stability. This study was undertaken to determine whether subarachnoid neostigmine would prevent bupivacaine spinal anesthesia from causing hypotension or bradycardia in patients undergoing abdominal hysterectomy.

Methods Of 40 patients scheduled for abdominal hysterectomy under spinal anesthesia, 20 were randomly assigned to each of two groups. The control group (CG) received 1.5 mL subarachnoid saline followed by 15 mg (3 mL) of hyperbaric bupivacaine 0.5%. The neostigmine group (NG) received 75 μg (1.5 mL) of subarachnoid neostigmine followed by 15 mg (3 mL) of hyperbaric bupivacaine 0.5%. No preload was given. Hypotension was treated with 4-mg intravenous boluses of ephedrine to keep blood pressure above 75% of the baseline value. The skin body temperature was measured with probes at the suprascapular region and at the foot.

Results Spinal neostigmine (75 μg) failed to prevent bupivacaineinduced hypotension. There was no statistical difference in the incidence of bradycardia between the groups (NG, 2/20; CG 1/20), although the bradycardia appeared to be qualitatively different, being somewhat delayed in the NG. Spinal neostigmine did not alter the onset or duration of sensory block and did not affect skin body temperature in either anesthetized or unanesthetized sites. The incidence of intraoperative nausea was 20% in the NG and 5% in the CG.

Conclusion A 75-μg subarachnoid neostigmine dose does not affect blood pressure or heart rate during bupivacaine spinal anesthesia.

  • neostigmine
  • hypotension
  • bradycardia
  • bupivacaine
  • subarachnoid administration

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  • Presented in part at the American Society Regional Anesthesia Congress, Orlando, 1995. Abstract published in Reg Anesth 1995: 20(2S): 110.