The following article requires a subscription:

(Format: HTML, PDF)

BACKGROUND: The effect of clonidine on the duration of sensory blockade after peripheral nerve blockade is controversial. We evaluated the effects of clonidine on the duration of sensory and motor block and analgesia time in children who underwent a variety of peripheral nerve blocks.

METHODS: We reviewed the regional anesthesia database that contains data on children who underwent an infraclavicular, lumbar plexus, femoral, fascia iliaca or sciatic nerve block for postoperative analgesia at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia between October 2002 and December 2005. Patients were prospectively followed after the nerve block.

RESULTS: Two hundred fifteen patients (47%) received either bupivacaine or ropivacaine local anesthetic (LA) and 220 (53%) a combination of local anesthetic and clonidine (LAC). The duration of sensory block was significantly longer in the LAC (17.2 /- 5 h) compared with that in the LA group (13.2 /- 5 h) (P = 0.0001). The increase in duration was independent from the type of peripheral nerve block, local anesthetic used and operation performed. The motor block duration was significantly longer in the LAC group (9.6 /- 5 vs 4.3 /- 4 h, P = 0.014). Two patients in the LAC and one in the LA group experience prolonged numbness (max 72 h). No paresthesia or dysesthesia was observed.

CONCLUSION: The addition of clonidine to bupivacaine and ropivacaine can extend sensory block by a few hours, and increase the incidence of motor blocks.

(C) 2007 International Anesthesia Research Society