Transplacental Distribution of Lidocaine and Its Metabolite in Peridural Anesthesia Administered to Patients With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Reprod Sci. 2015 Jul;22(7):791-7. doi: 10.1177/1933719114561560. Epub 2015 Jan 5.


Background: Neonatal effects of drugs administered to mothers before delivery depend on the quantity that crosses the placental barrier, which is determined by the pharmacokinetics of the drug in the mother, fetus, and placenta. Diabetes mellitus can alter the kinetic disposition and the metabolism of drugs. This study investigated the placental transfer of lidocaine and its metabolite monoethylglycinexylidide (MEGX) in pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) submitted to peridural anesthesia.

Patients and methods: A total of 10 normal pregnant women (group 1) and 6 pregnant women with GDM (group 2) were studied, all at term. The patients received 200 mg 2% lidocaine hydrochloride by the peridural locoregional route. Maternal blood samples were collected at the time of delivery and, after placental expulsion, blood samples were collected from the intervillous space, umbilical artery, and vein for determination of lidocaine and MEGX concentrations and analysis of the placental transfer of the drug.

Results: The following respective lidocaine ratios between the maternal and the fetal compartments were obtained for groups 1 and 2: umbilical vein/maternal peripheral blood, 0.60 and 0.46; intervillous space/maternal blood, 1.01 and 0.88; umbilical artery/umbilical vein, 0.77 and 0.91; and umbilical vein/intervillous space, 0.53 and 0.51. The following MEGX ratios for groups 1 and 2 were, respectively, fetal/maternal, 0.43 and 0.97; intervillous space/maternal blood, 0.64 and 0.90; umbilical artery/umbilical vein, 1.09 and 0.99; and umbilical vein/intervillous space, 0.55 and 0.78.

Conclusion: Gestational diabetes mellitus did not affect the transplacental transfer of lidocaine but interfered with the transfer of MEGX, acting as a mechanism facilitating the transport of the metabolite.

Keywords: gestational diabetes mellitus; lidocaine; monoethylglycinexylidide; placental transfer; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, Epidural / methods*
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Local / blood*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage
  • Lidocaine / blood*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / drug effects
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / physiology*
  • Placenta / drug effects
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Tissue Distribution / drug effects
  • Tissue Distribution / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Lidocaine