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Dextran as a Local Anesthetic Adjuvant: Its History and Current Status
  1. Richard Rosenblatt, M.D.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento
  1. Address reprint requests to Dr. Rosenblatt: Department of Anesthesiology, The Ohio State University School of Medicine, Columbus, OH 43210.


Twenty years have elapsed since R.E. Loder's introductory article on dextran and regional anesthesia, and throughout this period the use of dextran as a local anesthetic adjuvant has been controversial. The scientific data now confirm its adjuvant activity, albeit limited, and it appears that this property of dextran is due to the pH of the dextran solution. For various reasons dextran's acceptance into clinical practice has never been widespread, and there are indications that its usage might be discontinued entirely in the future because of technologic advances in local anesthetics and regional anesthesia.

  • Dextran
  • Review article
  • dextran
  • Local anesthetic adjuvants

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