In vivo diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance microscopy of rat spinal cord: effect of ischemia and intrathecal hyperbaric 5% lidocaine.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying persistent neurologic deficits after continuous spinal anesthesia using hyperbaric 5% lidocaine are still not well understood. It has been suggested that high-dose intrathecal lidocaine induces irreversible conduction block and even ischemia in white matter tracts by breakdown of the blood-nerve barrier. In this study, we use diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance microscopy to characterize the effect of intrathecal hyperbaric 5% lidocaine in rat spinal cord. The parameter measured with DWM, is an "apparent diffusion coefficient," (ADC), which can be used to exclude the presence of ischemia. METHODS: Female Fischer CDF rats were used. Group 1 (n = 5) was exposed to ischemia, group 2 (n = 7) was exposed to intrathecal 5% hyperbaric lidocaine, and group 3 (n = 5) was exposed to intrathecal 7.5% glucose. Diffusion-weighted MR images in group 1 were acquired before and after ischemia induced by cardiac arrest and in groups 2 and 3 rats prior to and during perfusion of the spinal catheter with either 5% hyperbaric lidocaine or 7.5% glucose. RESULTS: Ischemia decreased the ADC by 40% in gray matter and by 30% in white matter of spinal cord. Continuous intrathecal anesthesia with hyperbaric 5% lidocaine did not affect the spinal cord ADC. Further, 7.5% intrathecal glucose had no effect on ADCs in gray or white matter of spinal cord. CONCLUSIONS: Ischemia reduced the ADC in both spinal cord white and gray matter. Hyperbaric 5% lidocaine did not affect the spinal cord ADC during the first 1.5 hours. We suggest that 5% hyperbaric lidocaine does not induce irreversible neurologic deficits by causing spinal cord ischemia.
Benveniste, H; Qui, H; Hedlund, LW; Hüttemeier, PC; Steele, SM; Johnson, GA
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