Lack of impact of intravenous lidocaine on analgesia, functional recovery, and nociceptive pain threshold after total hip arthroplasty

Frédéric Martin, Kamel Cherif, Marc Emile Gentili, Dominique Enel, Emuri Abe, Jean Claude Alvarez, Jean Xavier Mazoit, Marcel Chauvin, Didier Bouhassira, Dominique Fletcher
Anesthesiology 2008, 109 (1): 118-23

BACKGROUND: The analgesic effect of perioperative low doses of intravenous lidocaine has been demonstrated after abdominal surgery. This study aimed to evaluate whether a continuous intravenous low-dose lidocaine infusion reduced postoperative pain and modified nociceptive pain threshold after total hip arthroplasty.

METHODS: Sixty patients participated in this randomized double-blinded study. Patients received lidocaine 1% (lidocaine group) with a 1.5 mg/kg intravenous bolus in 10 min followed by a 1.5 mg . kg . h intravenous infusion or saline (control group). These regimens were started 30 min before surgical incision and stopped 1h after skin closure. Lidocaine blood concentrations were measured at the end of administration. In both groups, postoperative analgesia was provided exclusively by patient-controlled intravenous morphine. Pain scores, morphine consumption, and operative hip flexion were recorded over 48 h. In addition, pressure pain thresholds and the extent of hyperalgesia around surgical incision were systematically measured at 24 and 48 h.

RESULTS: In comparison with the placebo, lidocaine did not induce any opioid-sparing effect during the first 24 h (median [25-75% interquartile range]; 17 mg [9-28] vs. 15 mg [8-23]; P = 0.54). There was no significant difference regarding the effects of lidocaine and placebo on pain score, pressure pain thresholds, extent in the area of hyperalgesia, and maximal degree of active hip flexion tolerated. Mean plasma lidocaine concentration was 2.1 +/- 0.4 mug/ml.

CONCLUSION: Low dose perioperative intravenous lidocaine after total hip arthroplasty offers no beneficial effect on postoperative analgesia and does not modify pressure and tactile pain thresholds.

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