Effect of ropivacaine on cutaneous capillary blood flow in pigs

D. J. Kopacz, R. L. Carpenter, D. C. Mackey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


The effect of subcutaneous infiltration of ropivacaine and bupivacaine on local cutaneous blood flow was assessed by the laser Doppler method. One millimeter of each of ten test solutions (ropivacaine 0.25% and 0.75%, bupivacaine 0.25% and 0.75%, and saline, each with and without added epinephrine 5 μg/ml) was injected subcutaneously at separate sites on the side of each pig (n = 6). Skin blood flow was measured by laser Doppler at all sites before and 5, 10, 15, and 30 min after injection. Subcutaneous injection of ropivacaine 0.25% or 0.75% decreased cutaneous blood flow by a maximum of 52% ± 11% and 54% ± 14% (mean ± SE), respectively. In contrast, bupivacaine 0.25% or 0.75% increased flow by 90% ± 32% and 82% ± 48%, and injection of saline increased blood flow by 32% ± 17%. Cutaneous blood flow after the injection of ropivacaine was significantly lower than after injection of bupivacaine or saline, and was also lower than at the uninjected control site (P = 0.0009). All of the solutions with epinephrine decreased blood flow to a similar extent (48-73%, P = 0.3). The ability of ropivacaine to produce cutaneous vasoconstriction offers several advantages over the other local anesthetics presently available for infiltration anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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