Systemic levels of lidocaine after intracameral injection during cataract surgery

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1999 May;25(5):648-51. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(99)00005-x.


Purpose: To evaluate the systemic concentrations of lidocaine after intracameral injection of a 1% solution during cataract surgery and the safety of this application mode.

Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.

Methods: This prospective study included 10 patients who had phacoemulsification and posterior chamber lens implantation with a self-sealing scleral tunnel incision. Topical anesthesia was achieved using cocaine 10% eyedrops combined with 0.5mL of unpreserved lidocaine 1% injected into the anterior chamber. Blood samples were taken from all patients at predetermined intervals before and during the procedure. Consecutive analysis for lidocaine was performed with gas chromatography.

Results: In all samples, serum lidocaine concentrations were below a minimum detectable level of 100 ng/mL. No local or systemic intraoperative or postoperative complications were noted.

Conclusions: Intracameral injection of 0.5 mL lidocaine 1% revealed no systemic therapeutic concentrations. In patients in whom other forms of needle-delivered local anesthesia are contraindicated, intracameral injection of lidocaine should be considered to enhance topical anesthesia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, Local / methods
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Local / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anterior Chamber / metabolism*
  • Blood-Aqueous Barrier
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage
  • Lidocaine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Lidocaine