Background and Objectives Transient radicular irritation (TRI) has been described after spinal anesthesia, particularly with 5% hyperbaric spinal lidocaine. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of TRI in obstetric patients.
Methods All obstetric patients undergoing spinal anesthesia during a 9-month period were enrolled in the study (n = 303). Details of the anesthetic technique were recorded at the time of anesthesia. A blinded anesthesia nurse contacted each patient on post-operative day 2 and asked about symptoms of TRI.
Results Most patients received either intrathecal hyperbaric bupivacaine 0.75% (n = 232) or lidocaine 5% (n = 67) through pencil-point needles. Cerebrospinal fluid was used to dilute the spinal lidocaine in 63% of patients. Patients receiving bupivacaine were more often in the supine position, underwent significantly longer procedures, and more often received intrathecal opioid. The incidence of TRI after lidocaine spinal anesthesia was 0% (95% confidence interval 0–4.5%).
Conclusions The incidence of TRI after spinal lidocaine anesthesia in the obstetric population is low. Reg Anesth Pain Med 1999: 24: 55–58.
- transient radicular irritation
- spinal anesthesia
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