A double-blinded, randomized comparison of either 0.5% levobupivacaine or 0.5% ropivacaine for sciatic nerve block

Andrea Casati, Battista Borghi, Guido Fanelli, Elisa Cerchierini, Roberta Santorsola, Valeria Sassoli, Crispino Grispigni, Giorgio Torri

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To compare intraoperative and postoperative clinical properties of levobupivacaine and ropivacaine for sciatic nerve block, 50 ASA physical status I and II patients undergoing hallux valgus repair received a femoral nerve block with 15 mL of 2% mepivacaine. They were then randomly allocated in a double-blinded fashion to receive a sciatic nerve block with either 0.5% levobupivacaine (n = 25) or 0.5% ropivacaine (n = 25). An independent blinded observer evaluated the onset time of surgical anesthesia as well as the quality of the surgical block and postoperative analgesia. The median (range) onset time of surgical block at the sciatic nerve distribution was 30 min (5-60 min) with levobupivacaine and 15 min (5-60 min) with ropivacaine (P = 0.63). Four patients (two patients in each group) received a supplementary ankle block by the surgeon just before the beginning of surgery. All four patients also received IV fentanyl supplementation, but in three of them, propofolinfusion was required to complete surgery (two in the Levobupivacaine group [8%] and one in the Ropivacaine group [4%]; P = 0.99). In six patients of the Levobupivacaine group (24%) and five patients of the Ropivacaine group (20%), IV fentanyl supplementation was required to complete surgery (P = 0.99). No differences in the time to recovery of sensory and motor function were observed between the two groups, whereas median (range) duration of postoperative analgesia was 16 h (8-24 h) with levobupivacaine and 16 h (8-24 h) with ropivacaine (P = 0.83). We conclude that 0.5% levobupivacaine and 0.5% ropivacaine provide comparable surgical anesthesia and postoperative analgesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-990
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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