A multicenter, randomized, controlled trial comparing bupivacaine with ropivacaine for labor analgesia.
BACKGROUND:A meta-analysis of studies comparing high doses of bupivacaine with ropivacaine for labor pain found a higher incidence of forceps deliveries, motor block, and poorer neonatal outcome with bupivacaine. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference in these outcomes when a low concentration of patient-controlled epidural bupivacaine combined with fentanyl is compared with ropivacaine combined with fentanyl. METHODS:This was a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial, including term, nulliparous women undergoing induction of labor. For the initiation of analgesia, patients were randomized to receive either 15 ml bupivacaine, 0.1%, or 15 ml ropivacaine, 0.1%, each with 5 microg/ml fentanyl. Analgesia was maintained with patient-controlled analgesia with either local anesthetic, 0.08%, with 2 microg/ml fentanyl. The primary outcome was the incidence of operative delivery. We also examined other obstetric, neonatal, and analgesic outcomes. RESULTS:There was no difference in the incidence of operative delivery between the two groups (148 of 276 bupivacaine recipients vs. 135 of 279 ropivacaine recipients; P = 0.25) or any obstetric or neonatal outcome. The incidence of motor block was significantly increased in the bupivacaine group compared with the ropivacaine group at 6 h (47 of 93 vs. 29 of 93, respectively; P = 0.006) and 10 h (29 of 47 vs. 16 of 41, respectively; P = 0.03) after injection. Satisfaction with mobility was higher with ropivacaine than with bupivacaine (mean +/- SD: 76 +/- 23 vs. 72 +/- 23, respectively; P = 0.013). Satisfaction for analgesia at delivery was higher for bupivacaine than for ropivacaine (mean +/- SD: 71 +/- 25 vs. 66 +/- 26, respectively; P = 0.037). CONCLUSIONS:There was no difference in the incidence of operative delivery or neonatal outcome among nulliparous patients who received low concentrations of bupivacaine or ropivacaine for labor analgesia.
Halpern, SH; Breen, TW; Campbell, DC; Muir, HA; Kronberg, J; Nunn, R; Fick, GH
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