Does clonidine 50 microg improve cervical plexus block obtained with ropivacaine 150 mg for carotid endarterectomy? A randomized, double-blinded study

Giorgio Danelli, M Nuzzi, P F Salcuni, L Caberti, M Berti, E Rossini, A Casati, G Fanelli
Journal of Clinical Anesthesia 2006, 18 (8): 585-8

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of adding 50 microg clonidine to 150 mg ropivacaine for superficial cervical plexus block in patients undergoing elective carotid endarterectomy (TEA).

DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind study.

SETTING: Departments of Anesthesia and Vascular Surgery of a university hospital.

PATIENTS: 40 ASA physical status II and III patients undergoing elective TEA during superficial cervical plexus block.

INTERVENTIONS: Superficial cervical plexus block was placed using 20 mL of 0.75% ropivacaine alone (Ropi group, n = 20) or with the addition of 50 microg clonidine (Ropi-Clonidine group, n = 20). If required, analgesic supplementation was given with local infiltration with 1% lidocaine and intravenous fentanyl (50-microg boluses). Nerve block profile, need for intraoperative analgesic supplementation, and time to first analgesic request were recorded.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Median (range) onset time was 10 minutes (5-25 min) in the Ropi group and 5 minutes (5-20 min) in the Ropi-Clonidine group (P < 0.05). Intraoperative consumption of both 1% lidocaine and fentanyl was higher in patients of the Ropi group (15 mL [0-25 mL] and 250 microg [50-300 microg]) than in patients of the Ropi-Clonidine group (8 mL [0-20 mL] and 0 microg [0-150 microg]; P < 0.05 and P < 0.05, respectively). First postoperative analgesic request occurred after 17 hours (10-24 hrs) in the Ropi group and 20 hours (10-24 hrs) in the Ropi-Clonidine group (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Adding 50 microg clonidine to 150 mg ropivacaine for superficial cervical plexus block shortened the onset time and improved the quality of surgical anesthesia in patients undergoing elective TEA.

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