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Comparison of Anesthetic Effect Between 0.375% Ropivacaine Versus 0.5% Lidocaine in Forearm Intravenous Regional Anesthesia
  1. Philip W.H. Peng, F.R.C.P.C.,
  2. Margaret M. Coleman, F.F.A.R.C.S.I.,
  3. Colin J.L. McCartney, F.R.C.A., F.F.A.R.C.S.I.,
  4. Susanne Krone, F.R.C.A.,
  5. Vincent W.S. Chan, F.R.C.P.C.,
  6. Zsuzsanna Kaszas, M.D. and
  7. Ivica Vucemilo, M.D.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesia, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  1. Reprint requests: Philip Peng, F.R.C.P.C., Department of Anesthesia, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, EC 2-046 399 Bathurst St, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2S8 Canada. E-mail:


Background and Objectives Ropivacaine was shown to provide superior postblock analgesia to lidocaine in intravenous regional anesthesia (IVRA) in voluntary studies. The objective of this study was to compare the anesthesia efficacy, postblock analgesia, and local anesthetic-related side effects between ropivacaine and lidocaine when forearm IVRA was used.

Methods Fifty-one patients undergoing outpatient hand surgery were randomized to receive forearm IVRA with either ropivacaine 0.375% or lidocaine 0.5%. The volume was 0.4 mL/kg up to 25 mL. Sensation to pinching by forceps and motor function was assessed at 5-minute intervals up to 15 minutes. After tourniquet deflation, verbal pain rating score (VRPS) at 15-minute intervals for the first 2 hours and time for first analgesic in the first 24 hours were evaluated.

Results Eleven patients were excluded from the study with 20 patients remaining in each group. Onset time of anesthesia (6.5 ± 2.9 minutes v 8.0 ± 4.1 minutes for lidocaine and ropivacaine groups, respectively) and motor block were similar. In the postoperative period, VPRS was significantly lower in the ropivacaine group in the first 60 minutes (median, 0; P < .05) with significantly more patients in the ropivacaine group pain free (VPRS, 0) up to the first 90 minutes (P > .05). More patients in lidocaine group requested analgesic in the first 2 hours postblock, and only patients in the lidocaine group required supplemental IV morphine in the recovery room. Twenty-four hour analgesic consumption was the same. No local anesthetic-related side effects were observed.

Conclusions We conclude that 0.375% ropivacaine provides effective anesthesia and superior postoperative analgesia compared with 0.5% lidocaine when forearm IVRA is used.

  • Local anesthetic
  • Ropivacaine
  • Lidocaine
  • Intravenous regional anesthesia
  • Forearm tourniquet
  • Outpatient hand surgery

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  • Presented in part at the annual meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia, Orlando, FL, March 30-April 2, 2000.