Pre-injury lidocaine treatment prevents thermal hyperalgesia and cutaneous thermal abnormalities in a rat model of peripheral neuropathy

Maria Luisa Sotgiu, Anna Castagna, Marco Lacerenza, Paolo Marchettini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of lidocaine pretreatment on thermal hyperalgesia and thermal skin asymmetries provoked by experimental mononeuropathy was investigated in rats. Forty anesthetized rats were given sciatic nerve ligatures according to the technique of Bennett and Xie. Rats were divided into 3 groups: 16 were ligated without lidocaine, 16 were ligated after lidocaine bathing of the nerve, and 8 were ligated after systemic lidocaine (6-8 mg/kg). Six sham-operated rats for each group were also prepared. From the first postoperative day the responses to the hot-plate test were assessed daily for 4 weeks by tracking the paw-licking latency (PLL) for both hindpaws. Shorter or longer latencies on the operated side were respectively considered sign of hyperalgesia and hypoalgesia. Infrared thermographic images of plantar hindpaws were taken in 22 operated rats in the 2nd postoperative week. Thermographic images of 8 non-operated rats were used as control. Animals operated without lidocaine exhibited shorter PLL (P <0.001) and a decreased skin temperature on the operated side (P <0.001). In the lidocaine-pretreated rats, no paw-licking reflex was present for a variable postoperative period (1 week or more) and afterwards there was a trend toward recovery of normal PLL values at the 4th week; the hindpaw skin temperature was symmetrical and normal. Sham-operated rats had normal tests. It is postulated here that lidocaine prevents behavioral and thermal manifestation of mononeuropathy by blocking early afferent injury barrage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • (Rat)
  • Lidocaine pretreatment
  • Peripheral injury
  • Thermal asymmetry
  • Thermal hyperalgesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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