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Cardiovascular Effects of Epidural Epinephrine in the Pregnant Sheep
  1. A. Michael de Rosayro, M.D.,
  2. Michael L. Nahrwold, M.D. and
  3. Anne B. Hill, M.B., F.F.A.R.C.S.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  1. Address reprint requests to Dr. de Rosayro: Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.


The use of epinephrine as an adujvant to epidural anesthetics in obstetrics is controversial, mainly due to its possible adverse effects on uterine blood flow. In this study five pregnant ewes near term were injected with 100 μg of epinephrine in 10 ml of saline into the epidural space, following which uterine blood flow, maternal and fetal cardiovascular and blood gas parameters, and blood levels of catecholamines were measured for a period of 60 minutes. Although maternal arterial levels of epinephrine were almost doubled during the period of the study, this was insufficient to cause a reduction in uterine blood flow or a threat to fetal homeostasis. It is concluded that epinephrine per se is not responsible for adverse effects in the fetus during maternal epidural analgesia.

  • Cardiovascular
  • Epinephrine, epidural
  • Obstetrics
  • Uterine blood flow
  • Animals

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