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Effect of bupivacaine and adjuvant drugs on skeletal muscle tissue oximetry and blood flow: an experimental study

Authors Schubert AK, Müller S, Wulf H, Steinfeldt T, Wiesmann T

Received 30 January 2019

Accepted for publication 2 July 2019

Published 29 August 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 71—80

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/LRA.S203569

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Stefan Wirz


Ann-Kristin Schubert,1 Stefan Müller,1 Hinnerk Wulf,1 Thorsten Steinfeldt,1,2 Thomas Wiesmann1

1Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Marburg, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany; 2Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Diakoniekrankenhaus Schwäbisch Hall, Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

Correspondence: Thomas Wiesmann
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Marburg, Philipps University of Marburg, Baldingerstraße, Marburg 35033, Germany
Tel +49 6 421 586 9362
Email wiesmann@med.uni-marburg.de

Background: Skeletal muscle microvascular blood flow plays a critical role in many myopathologies. The influence of bupivacaine and adjuvants on skeletal muscle microvascular perfusion and tissue oximetry is poorly understood but might be a relevant risk factor for myopathies after local anesthetic administration. The aim of this experimental study was to determine the effects of bupivacaine alone or in combination with epinephrine or clonidine on skeletal muscle perfusion and tissue oximetry.
Methods: Combined tissue spectrophotometry and Laser-Doppler flowmetry and tissue oximetry were used to assess local muscle blood flow in anesthetized pigs after topical administration of test solutions (bupivacaine, bupivacaine with epinephrine or clonidine, saline). Measurements were performed for up to 60 mins.
Results: The application of bupivacaine alone did not alter relative muscle blood flow significantly, whereas the addition of epinephrine or clonidine to bupivacaine resulted in a significant reduction of relative muscle blood flow at T30 and T60. However, bupivacaine resulted in a significant decrease of tissue oximetry values when compared to saline control group at T30 and T60. The application of bupivacaine combined with clonidine or epinephrine resulted in no significant reduction of tissue oximetry when compared to bupivacaine alone.
Conclusion: Bupivacaine alone results in a significant decrease of tissue oximetry in skeletal muscle which is not increased by the addition of epinephrine or clonidine despite further reductions of microcirculatory perfusion. Overall, bupivacaine alone or with adjuvants does produce local muscle ischemia for which pathological consequences need to be addressed in further studies.

Keywords: bupivacaine, adjuvants, tissue perfusion, tissue oxygenation, ischemia

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