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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
ORIGINAL ARTICLES ANTALGIC THERAPY
Minerva Anestesiologica 2001 May;67(5):407-12
Improving postoperative analgesia after axillary brachial plexus anesthesia with 0.75% ropivacaine. A double-blind evaluation of adding clonidine
Casati A., Magistris L., Beccaria P., Cappelleri G., Aldegheri G., Fanelli G.
University of Milan IRCCS H. San Raffaele Department of Anesthesiology
Background. The aim of this prospective, randomized, double-blind study was to evaluate the effects of adding 1 µg/kg clonidine to 20 ml of ropivacaine 0.75% for axillary brachial plexus anesthesia.
Methods. With Ethical Committee approval and written consent, 30 ASA physical status I-II in-patients, undergoing upper extremity orthopedic procedures were randomly allocated to receive axillary brachial plexus block with 20 ml of 0.75% ropivacaine alone (group ropivacaine, n = 15) or 0.75% ropivacaine + 1 µg/kg clonidine (group ropivacaine-clonidine, n = 15). Nerve blocks were placed using a nerve stimulator with the multiple injection technique (stimulation frequency was 2 Hz; stimulation intensity was decreased to ≤0.5 mA after each muscular twitch; the anesthetic volume was equally divided among arm flexion, arm extension, wrist flexion, and thumb adduction). A blinded observer recorded the time required to achieve surgical block [loss of pinprick sensation in the innervation areas of the hand (C6-C8) with concomitant inability to move the wrist and hand] and first analgesic request.
Results. No differences in demography, degree of sedation, peripheral oxygen saturation, and hemodynamic variables were observed between the two groups. Readiness for surgery required 15 min (5-36 min) with 0.75% ropivacaine and 20 min (5-30 min) with the ropivacaine-clonidine mixture. The degree of pain measured at first analgesic request, and consumption of postoperative analgesics were similar in the two groups; while first postoperative analgesic request occurred after 13.8 h (25th-75th percentiles: 9.1-13 h) in the ropivacaine group and 15.2 h (25th-75th percentiles: 10.7-16 h) in the ropivacaine-clonidine group (p = 0.04).
Conclusions. Adding 1 µg/kg clonidine to 20 ml of ropivacaine 0.75% for axillary brachial plexus anesthesia provided a 3 h delay in first analgesic request postoperatively, without clinically relevant effects on the degree of sedation and cardiovascular homeostasis.