A comparison of the vasodilatation produced by two topical anaesthetics

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The vasoactive properties of EMLA (eutectic mixture of local anaesthetic) and amethocaine were compared using Doppler colour ultrasound to measure vein diameter in 20 male volunteers. EMLA or amethocaine cream were applied over veins on the dorsum of the hand and vein diameter was measured prior to application of the preparations and at 1, 1.5 and 2 h after removal. Visual analogue scores for skin colour and vasodilatation were performed at 1 h. The results showed no significant difference in vein diameter between the EMLA and amethocaine groups. However, the amethocaine-treated hands were significantly more erythematous at 1 h (p < 0.00002).

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