Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Clonidine Versus Ketamine to Prevent Tourniquet Pain During Intravenous Regional Anesthesia With Lidocaine
  1. Nikos K. Gorgias, M.D., Ph.D.,
  2. Panagiota G. Maidatsi, M.D., Ph.D.,
  3. Anastasios M. Kyriakidis, M.D.,
  4. Konstantinos A. Karakoulas, M.D., Ph.D.,
  5. Demetrios N. Alvanos, M.D. and
  6. Maria M. Giala, M.D., Ph.D.
  1. From the Departments of Anesthesiology (N.K.G.) and Orthopedic Surgery (A.M.K., D.N.A.), Saint Demetrios General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece; Department of Anesthesiology, AHEPA University Hospital (P.G.M., K.A.K.), Thessaloniki, Greece; and Department of Anesthesiology, AHEPA University Hospital (P.G.M., K.A.K., M.M.G.), Thessaloniki, Greece.
  1. Reprint requests: Nikos K. Gorgias, M.D., Ph.D., N. Egnatia 157, 54639, Thessaloniki, Greece. E-mail: gorgias{at}


Background and Objectives Both clonidine and ketamine have been found to prolong the action of local anesthetics through a peripheral mechanism. Our study compares the efficacy of a low dose of clonidine or ketamine separately added to intravenous regional anesthesia (IVRA) with lidocaine to prevent tourniquet pain.

Methods We conducted a prospective randomized double-blinded study in 45 patients undergoing hand or forearm surgery, with anticipated duration exceeding 1 hour under IVRA. Proximal cuff inflation of a double tourniquet was followed by administration of 40 mL of lidocaine 0.5% and either saline, 1 μg/kg clonidine, or 0.1 mg/kg ketamine. When anesthesia was established, the inflation of the proximal and distal cuff was interchanged. Thereafter, tourniquet pain was rated on a visual analog scale (VAS) every 10 minutes. Intraoperatively, boluses of 25 μg fentanyl were provided for tourniquet pain treatment when required, and total fentanyl consumption was recorded.

Results Patients receiving plain lidocaine persistently reported the highest pain scores among groups (P < .001) 20 minutes after distal cuff inflation. Differences between the groups with additional treatment were noted 50 minutes after distal cuff inflation and until the end of the observation, with significantly lower VAS ratings (P < .001 to P < .01) in ketamine-treated patients. Total fentanyl consumption was significantly decreased by ketamine (70.00 ± 25.35 μg) or clonidine (136.67 ± 39.94 μg) compared with the plain lidocaine group (215.33 ± 52.33 μg) (P < .001 between all groups).

Conclusions The addition of clonidine 1 μg/kg or ketamine 0.1 mg/kg to lidocaine for IVRA delays the onset of unbearable tourniquet pain and decreases analgesic consumption for tourniquet pain relief, although ketamine has a more potent effect.

  • Anesthetic techniques
  • Intravenous regional
  • Complications
  • Tourniquet pain
  • a2-adrenergic agonists
  • Clonidine
  • Anesthetics intravenous
  • Ketamine

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.