Author(s): Hilt H, Gramm HJ, Link J
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Abstract The intracranial pressure (ICP) response to the lumbar extradural injection of bupivacaine hydrochloride was measured in two patients on a total of 29 occasions. In the first patient, mean ICP increased from an average figure of 18.8 mm Hg to 39.5 mm Hg after the injection of 10 ml of solution. This increase was maintained for an average of 4.5 min. Both the magnitude and the duration of the increase were less when 5 ml was injected. The second patient had a normal baseline ICP, but the injection of bupivacaine 10 ml produced an increase from a mean of 9.3 mm Hg to 15.6 mm Hg. Injection of the same volumes of physiological saline in the second patient induced increases in ICP similar to those obtained with bupivacaine. There was a good correlation between baseline ICP and the increase produced by the extradural injection. It is concluded that extradural anaesthesia must be used with extreme caution in patients with reduced intracranial compliance, and should not be used at all in a patient with intracranial hypertension or a space-occupying lesion.
This article was published in Br J Anaesth
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research