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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
SMART 2005 - Milan, May 11-13, 2005
Minerva Anestesiologica 2005 June;71(6):339-45
Central blocks with levobupivacaina in children
Ingelmo P. M., Fumagalli R.
Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department Ospedali Riuniti of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy and Department of Surgery and Intensive Care Milano Bicocca University, Milan, Italy
Regional anesthesia has become a routine practice in paediatric anesthesia and local anaesthetics are now widely used in infants and children. Although local anaesthetics are generally quite safe and effective, they may produce systemic toxic reactions affecting the heart and brain. Because postoperative analgesia is often the primary justification for regional anesthesia in infants and children, bupivacaine, a long-acting local anaesthetic, is the most commonly used local anaesthetic for paediatric regional anesthesia. Levobupiva-caine has been used in children by caudal injection, by lumbar epidural route for anesthesia during operation, by continuous epidural infusion for pain control after operation and for spinal anesthesia. Levobupivacaine had shown comparable clinical profiles to that of bupivacaine but produced lower incidence of residual motor blockade. Efforts to minimize the risk of complications during caudal anesthesia must be directed towards measures that reduce accidental intravenous and intraosseous injections, reduce the total amount of local anaesthetic used and use drugs with lower toxic potential. In patients under general anesthesia, when using a large amount of local anaesthetic, in case of accidental intravenous infusion, patients receiving levobupivacaine may tolerate larger doses before manifestation of toxicity compared with those receiving bupivacaine. There are clinical situations including prolonged local anaesthetic infusions, use in neonates or small babies, and caudal block, where replacement of bupivacaine with levobupivacaine appears to be safer.