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Effects of Lidocaine and Bupivacaine on Isolated Rabbit Mesenteric Capacitance Veins
  1. Quinn H. Hogan, M.D.*,
  2. Anna Stadnicka, Ph.D.*,,
  3. Zelijo J. Bosnjak, Ph.D.*, and
  4. John P. Kampine, M.D., Ph.D.*,
  1. *From the Department of Anesthesiology and Physiology
  2. Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Department of Anesthesiology and Physiology, Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  1. Reprint requests: Quinn H. Hogan, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226.


Background and Objectives The direct effects of circulating lidocaine and bupivacaine on splanchnic capacitance veins have not been examined previously. This article reports on the effects of clinically relevant concentrations of lidocaine and bupivacaine on adrenergic responsiveness of isolated rabbit mesenteric veins and examines the mechanism of changes.

Methods Rings of ileal mesenteric capacitance veins were suspended in tissue baths for isometric tension measurements. Effects of lidocaine and bupivacaine on contractile responses to adrenergic nerve stimulation, exogenous norepinephrine (10−6 M NE), and potassium chloride (80 mM KCl) were examined in endothelium-intact, L-NAME (10−4 M) treated or denuded veins.

Results Constriction in response to adrenergic nerve stimulation was attenuated by lidocaine and bupivacaine in a dose-dependent manner, with the potency of bupivacaine being higher than lidocaine. Unstimulated or potassium-constricted veins with and without endothelium were unaffected by lidocaine (0.25-100 μg/mL) and bupivacaine (0.1-100 μg/mL). In veins preconstricted by exogenously administered NE, a cumulative increase of both anesthetics produced no effect at low doses, an augmentation of constriction to NE at 5-20 μg/mL bupivacaine and 20-100 μg/mL lidocaine, and minimal effect at 50-100 μg/mL bupivacaine. These actions persisted in denuded or L-NAME treated veins. Nonincremental delivery of high concentrations of lidocaine or bupivacaine produced relaxation of NE and potassium-constricted rings in the absence and presence of L-NAME.

Conclusions Lidocaine and bupivacaine in concentrations typical during uncomplicated regional anesthesia inhibit adrenergic neurotransmission in rabbit mesenteric capacitance veins and produce modest venodilatation. Higher doses, resembling concentrations during accidental intravascular injection, result in substantial loss in vasomotor control of these capacitance vessels, which may contribute to hemodynamic effects.

  • lidocaine
  • bupivacaine
  • mesenteric capacitance veins
  • adrenergic neurotransmission.

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  • This work was supported by VA Merit Review 7793-02P and NIH Anesthesiology Research Training Grant GM08377.