ED 90 of Intrathecal Chloroprocaine With Fentanyl for Prophylactic Cervical Cerclage: A Sequential Allocation Biased-Coin Design

Anesth Analg. 2022 Apr 1;134(4):834-842. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005927.


Background: Chloroprocaine is a short-acting local anesthetic that has been used for spinal anesthesia in outpatient surgery. There is limited experience with spinal chloroprocaine for prophylactic cervical cerclage placement. We sought to determine the effective dose of intrathecal chloroprocaine for 90% of patients (ED90) undergoing prophylactic cervical cerclage placement. We hypothesized that the ED90 of intrathecal chloroprocaine when combined with 10-ug fentanyl would be between 33 and 54 mg.

Methods: In this prospective 2-center double-blinded study, we enrolled women undergoing prophylactic cervical cerclage placement under combined spinal-epidural anesthesia. A predetermined dose of intrathecal 3% chloroprocaine with fentanyl 10 ug was administered. The initial dose was 45-mg intrathecal chloroprocaine. Subsequent dose adjustments were determined based on the response of the previous subject using an up-down sequential allocation with a biased-coin design. A dose was considered effective if at least a T12 block was achieved, and there was no requirement for epidural activation or intraoperative analgesic supplementation during the procedure. The primary outcome was the ED90 of intrathecal chloroprocaine with fentanyl 10 ug. Secondary outcomes included duration of surgery, anesthetic side effects, time to resolution of motor and sensory block, time to achieve recovery room discharge criteria, and patient satisfaction with anesthetic care. Isotonic regression was used to estimate the ED90.

Results: Forty-seven patients were enrolled into the study. Two patients were excluded (1 protocol violation and 1 failed block). In total, 45 patients completed the study. The estimated ED90 (95% confidence interval) for intrathecal chloroprocaine combined with fentanyl 10 ug was 49.5 mg (45.0-50.1 mg). The median (interquartile range [IQR]) duration of surgery was 15 (10-24) minutes. Resolution of the motor (Bromage 0) and sensory block took a median time of 60 (45-90) minutes and 90 (75-105) minutes, respectively. The median time to achieve recovery room discharge criteria was 150 (139-186) minutes. Satisfaction with anesthetic management was high in all patients. There were no reports of postdural puncture headache or transient neurological symptoms postoperatively.

Conclusions: The ED90 of intrathecal chloroprocaine combined with fentanyl 10 ug was 49.5 mg. Intrathecal chloroprocaine was associated with rapid block recovery and high patient satisfaction, which makes it well suited for outpatient obstetric procedures.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03805438.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Spinal* / adverse effects
  • Anesthesia, Spinal* / methods
  • Anesthetics, Local / adverse effects
  • Bupivacaine
  • Cerclage, Cervical*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fentanyl / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Procaine / adverse effects
  • Procaine / analogs & derivatives
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Procaine
  • chloroprocaine
  • Fentanyl
  • Bupivacaine

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03805438