Ropivacaine plasma levels following local infiltration analgesia for primary total hip arthroplasty

A. M. Gill, N. B. Scott, M. Abbas, D. G. Watson, K. Place, D. A. McDonald

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17 Citations (Scopus)


We measured total and free plasma concentrations of ropivacaine following high-volume, high-dose local infiltration analgesia in 19 patients aged 65 years or over undergoing unilateral total hip arthroplasty. The patients received 180 ml ropivacaine 0.2% (360 mg), which was injected into the deep and peri-capsular tissues, the gluteal muscles and fascia lata, and the subcutaneous tissues and skin. Patients were monitored for clinical symptoms and signs of systemic local anaesthetic toxicity. Total levels of plasma ropivacaine varied from 0.081 to 1.707 μ (mean (SD) 0.953 (0.323) μ -1). Free levels of plasma ropivacaine varied from 0.000 to 0.053 μ (mean (SD) 0.024 (0.011) μ No samples reached the toxic threshold for venous ropivacaine concentration, although four patients exhibited mild symptoms consistent with local anaesthetic toxicity. One patient had episodes of complete heart block on ECG monitoring, but plasma ropivacaine levels were below toxic levels. We conclude that plasma levels for ropivacaine associated with toxicity in a volunteer population (total 2.2 μ, free 0.15 μ are not reached during local infiltration analgesia for hip arthroplasty in elderly patients. © 2014 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-373
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Early online date18 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • ropivacaine
  • analgesia
  • hip arthroplasty
  • patient trials


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