Interscalene brachial plexus anaesthesia with 0.5%, 0.75% or 1% ropivacaine: a double-blind comparison with 2% mepivacaine


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Abstract

We have compared interscalene brachial plexus block performed with ropivacaine or mepivacaine in 60 healthy patients undergoing elective shoulder surgery. Patients were allocated randomly to receive interscalene brachial plexus anaesthesia with 20 ml of 0.5% ropivacaine (n = 15), 0.75% ropivacaine (n = 15), 1 % ropivacaine (n = 15) or 2% mepivacaine (n = 15). Readiness for surgery (loss of pinprick sensation from C4 to C7 and inability to elevate the limb from the bed) was achieved sooner with 1% ropivacaine (mean 10 (SD 5) min) than with 0.5% ropivacaine (22 (7) min) (P < 0.001) or 2% mepivacaine (18 (9) min) (P < 0.02). Postoperative analgesia was similar with the three ropivacaine concentrations (11.5 (5) h, 10.7 (2) h and 10 (2.4) h with 0.5%, 0.75% and 1% concentrations, respectively) and nearly two-fold longer compared with 2% mepivacaine (5.1 (2.7) h) (P<0.00l).

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