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A Journal on Ophthalmology
Minerva Oftalmologica 2012 September;54(3):101-8
Comparison between proparacaine and tetracaine in ophthalmological topical anesthesia: a randomized, controlled and in double-blind study
Montorio D. 1, Breve M. A. 1, Russo V. 2, Vivona L. 2, Vivona G. 2
1 Dipartimento Assistenziale di Oftalmologia Università degli Studi di Napoli, “Federico II”, Italia;
2 Dipartimento Assistenziale di Anestesia, Rianimazione, Terapia Intensiva, Terapia Antalgica e Terapia Iperbarica Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italia
AIM:The aim of this paper was to comparing two ocular topical anesthetics, propacaraine and tetracaine, for the onset of pain at their instillation and for the duration of their pharmacological activity.
METHODS:Fourteen patients aged between 30 and 34 years old have been selected in a randomized, controlled and in double-blind study. The patients had received one of the two pharmacological solutions at the left eye and the other one at the right eye. At the end of each instillation the patients have been invited to indicate the intensity of pain sensation perceived by drawing a vertical line on the visual analogical valuation scale of pain (VAS). The distance measured in millimeter, starting from the end of the scale (100 mm long) which indicates the pain absence, represented the measure of perceived pain. To compare the medium valuation VAS for perceived pain by selected subject for the two studied anesthetics has been used the T-test. The time interval that elapsed from the instillation of the anesthetic to the return of corneal reflex was controlled with a tuft of cotton every two minutes and was recorded. These measurements for the two anesthetics have been compared with the T-test.
RESULTS: The medium valuation of pain with the analogical visual scale was of 25.04±0.31 when tetracaine was instilled, while was of 3.08±0.29 with proparacaine showing a statistical relevant difference (P<0.0001). The anesthesia duration, determined by the return of corneal reflex, has been 10.6±0.41 minutes for proparacaine and 9.3±0.32 for tetracaine.
CONCLUSION:Proparacaine and tetracaine represent the most common and used anesthetic eye drops in ophthalomologic practice. Proparacaine causes less pain when instilled and has a duration lightly longer, for this properties is preferred to tetracaine.