Comparison of ropivacaine 0.2% and lidocaine 0.5% for intravenous regional anesthesia in volunteers

Anesth Analg. 1999 Sep;89(3):727-31. doi: 10.1097/00000539-199909000-00037.


A longer acting local anesthetic such as ropivacaine may offer advantages over lidocaine for IV regional anesthesia (IVRA). The objective of this investigation was to determine whether the use of ropivacaine improves the quality and duration of IVRA. In a randomized, double cross-over design, 10 volunteers received lidocaine 0.5% or ropivacaine 0.2% for IVRA of the upper extremity on two separate days with a standard double-cuff technique. Sensation to pinprick, response to tetanic stimuli, and tourniquet pain were assessed on a 0-10 verbal numeric score scale at 5-min intervals throughout the period of tourniquet inflation. Motor function was evaluated by grip strength. After release of the second (distal) cuff, pinprick sensation, motor strength, and systemic side effects were evaluated at 3, 10, and 30 min. No significant differences were observed for onset times of anesthesia and times to proximal (38 +/- 3 and 36 +/- 3 min) or distal (34 +/- 13 and 36 +/- 13 min) tourniquet release after the administration of ropivacaine and lidocaine, respectively. However, postdeflation hypoalgesia and motor blockade were prolonged with ropivacaine, and postdeflation light-headedness, tinnitus, and drowsiness were more prominent with lidocaine. We conclude that ropivacaine may be an alternative to lidocaine for IVRA. It may result in prolonged analgesia and fewer side effects after tourniquet release.

Implications: In this study, volunteers received lidocaine 0.5% or ropivacaine 0.2% for IV regional anesthesia on two study days. Ropivacaine and lidocaine provided similar surgical conditions. However, after release of the distal tourniquet, prolonged sensory blockade and fewer central nervous system side effects were observed with ropivacaine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amides* / administration & dosage
  • Amides* / adverse effects
  • Anesthesia, Conduction* / adverse effects
  • Anesthesia, Intravenous* / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Local* / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Local* / adverse effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lidocaine* / administration & dosage
  • Lidocaine* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Ropivacaine
  • Time Factors


  • Amides
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Ropivacaine
  • Lidocaine