Background and Objectives
This study investigates analgesic and nociceptive effects of adding dexmedetomidine to bupivacaine neuraxial anesthesia through Tail-flick (TF) and Hot-plate (HP) tests and the pathohistological changes on spinal nerves and nerve roots through light microscopy.
Forty anesthetized, male Sprague-Dawley rats were intrathecally catheterized. Basal values of TF and HP tests were measured before and after catheterization. Thirty-six successfully catheterized rats were assigned to four groups. Group B received 10 μg bupivacaine, Group BD3 received 10 μg bupivacaine + 3 μg dexmedetomidine, Group BD10 received 10 μg bupivacaine + 10 μg dexmedetomidine and Control group received 10 μL volume of artifi cial cerebrospinal fluid. TF and HP tests were performed between the 5th and 300th minutes of drug administration. Twenty-four hours after administration of drugs, rats were sacrifi ced and spinal cord and nerve roots were removed for pathological investigation.
Baseline values of the TF and HP tests were not statistically different among the groups (6.8 ± 0.15 s). TF and HP latencies in the Control group did not change signifi cantly during the study. TF and HP test results showed that adding 3 and 10 μg dexmedetomidine caused a dosedependent increase in duration and amplitude of analgesic and nociceptive effect of bupivacaine (TF: 37.52 ± 1.08%, 57.86 ± 1.16% respectively, HP: 44.24 ± 1.15%, 68.43 ± 1.24% respectively).
There were no apparent pathohistological changes at least 24 hours after the intrathecal administration of a single dose of dexmedetomidine 3 μg and 10 μg. Dexmedetomidine added to bupivacaine for spinal block improves analgesia and prolongs block duration.