Ropivacaine in peribulbar anesthesia - vasoconstrictive properties

Rev Bras Anestesiol. Sep-Oct 2010;60(5):495-512. doi: 10.1016/S0034-7094(10)70061-1.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Background and objectives: Peribulbar anesthesia can reduce ocular blood flow (OBF) by increasing intraocular pressure (IOP) or due to the action of drugs. Ropivacaine has low toxicity and intrinsic vasoconstrictive properties, yet to be proven on the ocular vasculature. Measurements of ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) allow the indirect evaluation of the OBF. The objective of the present study was to evaluate through the OBF the vasoconstrictive properties of ropivacaine in peribulbar anesthesia.

Methods: Forty eyes undergoing peribulbar anesthesia with 7 mL of anesthetic solution without vasoconstrictor were randomly divided into two groups: ropivacaine (n = 20) and bupivacaine (n = 20). The IOP, ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), OPA, hemodynamic parameters, and the degree of akinesia before and 5 and 10 minutes after the blockade were evaluated. A dynamic contour tonometer was used to evaluate ocular parameters. Sedation was similar in both groups.

Results: A significant variation in hemodynamic parameters and intensity of the motor blockade was not observed between groups. Differences in IOP, OPP, and OPA (p < 0.05) were observed between both groups at 5 and 10 minutes. The variation of IOP at 5 and 10 minutes was -0.88% and -4.54%, respectively with ropivacaine, and 17.61% and 16.56% with bupivacaine. The change in OPP after 5 and 10 minutes was 1.5% and 4.2% with ropivacaine, and -7% and -6% with bupivacaine. Ocular pulse amplitude varied -55.59% and -59.67% with ropivacaine at 5 and 10 minutes, and -34.71% and -28.82% with bupivacaine.

Conclusions: Ropivacaine reduced more intensely the ocular pulse amplitude despite little changes in IOP and OPP. The reduction in ocular blood flow caused by ropivacaine can be attributed to its vasoconstrictive effect.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amides / therapeutic use*
  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Bupivacaine / therapeutic use*
  • Conjunctiva / transplantation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eye / blood supply*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pterygium / surgery
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Ropivacaine
  • Vasoconstriction / drug effects*


  • Amides
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Ropivacaine
  • Bupivacaine