AbstractBackground and objective:
No clinical trials comparing the characteristics of sensory blockade caused by various local anaesthetics in thoracic paravertebral blockade have been published. The aim of this prospective study was a clinical assessment of sensory blockade after paravertebral injection of ropivacaine or bupivacaine in patients undergoing modified radical mastectomy.Methods:
Seventy ASA I–II patients were randomized to receive a single injection of ropivacaine 0.5% (n = 35) or bupivacaine 0.5% (n = 35) at the T4 level. General anaesthesia with propofol and fentanyl was provided during the procedure and patients were not intubated. The following parameters were analysed: duration and dynamics of the sensory blockade and the patient's and surgeon's assessment.Results:
Both ropivacaine and bupivacaine provided a similar level of analgesia. Ropivacaine was characterized by more rapid onset – after only 5 min 53% of patients in this group had the extent of sensory blockade wide enough to perform modified radical mastectomy in comparison to only 20% after bupivacaine (P < 0.01). The initial spread of sensory blockade (>9 segments blocked) was noted more often in the ropivacaine group (88% vs. 65%, P < 0.05), lasted longer and appeared to be wider than sensory blockade produced by bupivacaine. Regression of sensory blockade was initially similar, but after 24 h sensory blockade in the ropivacaine group still had a potential to provide analgesia for modified radical mastectomy in 81% of patients in comparison to only 50% of such patients in the bupivacaine group (P < 0.05). Degree of postoperative pain, performance of the cardiovascular system, consumption of medications and complications were all similar between the study groups.Conclusions:
Both agents provide satisfactory conditions for mastectomy, but ropivacaine seems to be superior to bupivacaine for thoracic paravertebral blockade during breast cancer surgery.