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Anesthesiology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 187132, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Comparison of Spinal Block Levels between Laboring and Nonlaboring Parturients Using Combined Spinal Epidural Technique with Intrathecal Plain Bupivacaine

1Department of Anesthesiology, West China Second Hospital, Sichuan University, Sichuan, Chengdu 610041, China
2Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3Department of Anesthesiology, Median Area of Maternal and Child Care Service Center, Sichuan, Neijiang 641000, China

Received 26 February 2012; Revised 23 April 2012; Accepted 2 May 2012

Academic Editor: Takashi Nishino

Copyright © 2012 Yu-Ying Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. It was suggested that labor may influence the spread of intrathecal bupivacaine using combined spinal epidural (CSE) technique. However, no previous studies investigated this proposition. We designed this study to investigate the spinal block characteristics of plain bupivacaine between nonlaboring and laboring parturients using CSE technique. Methods. Twenty-five nonlaboring (Group NL) and twenty-five laboring parturients (Group L) undergoing cesarean delivery were enrolled. Following identification of the epidural space at the L3-4 interspace, plain bupivacaine 10 mg was administered intrathecally using CSE technique. The level of sensory block, degree of motor block, and hemodynamic changes were assessed. Results. The baseline systolic blood pressure (SBP) and the maximal decrease of SBP in Group L were significantly higher than those in Group NL ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 2 and 𝑃 = 0 . 0 3 , resp.). The median sensory level tested by cold stimulation was T6 for Group NL and T5 for Group L ( 𝑃 = 0 . 4 6 ). The median sensory level tested by pinprick was T7 for both groups ( 𝑃 = 0 . 3 5 ). The degree of motor block was comparable between the two groups ( 𝑃 = 0 . 8 5 ). Conclusion. We did not detect significant differences in the sensory block levels between laboring and nonlaboring parturients using CSE technique with intrathecal plain bupivacaine.