The Influence of Lumbosacral Cerebrospinal Fluid Volume on Extent and Duration of Hyperbaric Bupivacaine Spinal Anesthesia: A Comparison Between Seated and Lateral Decubitus Injection Positions

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We designed the present study to examine the influence of lumbosacral cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume on the spread and duration of hyperbaric bupivacaine spinal anesthesia when the injection is made with the patient in the lateral position compared with that when the patient is in a seated position. Seventy-four patients undergoing peripheral orthopedic or urogenital surgery with spinal block were enrolled. Lumbosacral CSF volumes were calculated from axial magnetic resonance images. Patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: the lateral (L) and seated (S) groups (n = 37 each). Spinal anesthesia (3 mL hyperbaric 0.5% bupivacaine) was administered using a 25-gauge pencil-type needle with the needle aperture directed cephalad and the patient in the lateral decubitus position with the non-operated side up (L group) or with the patient in a seated position (S group). Patients were turned supine immediately after spinal injection (L group) or after remaining seated for 2 min (S group). Statistical correlation coefficients (ρ) were assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation. There were negative correlations between CSF volume and peak sensory block level in both the L (ρ = −0.69, P < 0.0001) and S groups (ρ = −0.68, P < 0.0001). In the S group, but not in the L group, CSF volume significantly correlated with onset time of peak sensory block level (ρ = −0.48, P = 0.004), and time required for regression to L1–4 (P < 0.05–0.01). We conclude that CSF volume influences the spread of spinal anesthesia with hyperbaric bupivacaine regardless of patient position when the spinal injection is made. CSF volume influenced the duration of spinal sensory anesthesia when the injection was made with the patient in a seated position, but not in the lateral position.

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