Does speed of intrathecal injection affect the distribution of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine?

Andrea Casati, Guido Fanelli, Gianluca Cappelleri, Albino Leoni, Marco Berti, Giorgio Aldegheri, Giorgio Torri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have evaluated the influence of speed of intrathecal injection on lateral distribution of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine. We studied 60 patients undergoing lower limb surgery who were placed in the lateral position with the operative side in the dependent position. After dural puncture (25-gauge Whitacre spinal needle), the needle aperture was turned towards the dependent side and 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine 8 mg was injected randomly at a rate of 0.02 ml s-1 (group slow, n = 30) or 0.25 ml s-1 (group fast, n = 30). Lateral position was maintained for 15 min while a blinded observer recorded loss of pinprick sensation and degree of motor block on both surgical and non-surgical sides. There were no differences between the groups. Forty-five minutes after patients were turned to the supine position, spinal anaesthesia was unilateral in 17 patients in group slow (56%) and in 13 patients in group fast (43%). We conclude that using extremely low speeds for intrathecal injection were not clinically advantageous in obtaining unilateral spinal anaesthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-357
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Anaesthesia
  • Anaesthetics local
  • Bupivacaine
  • Subarachnoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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