The objectives of this study were to investigate the correlations between the minimum effective volume (MEV) of lidocaine 1.5% for an ultrasound-guided popliteal sciatic nerve block and individual factors including the cross-sectional nerve area, sex, age, body mass index, and the depth of the sciatic nerve and to evaluate the safety of combined femoral and sciatic nerve blocks by monitoring the plasma concentration of local anesthetics.
Forty patients received combined single-shot femoral and continuous sciatic nerve blocks. The femoral nerve block was performed with an in-plane technique and 15 mL of lidocaine 1.5%. A continuous peripheral nerve block annular tube was positioned between the tibial and peroneal nerves inside the paraneural sheath. Thirty minutes after the femoral nerve block, a loading dose of 5 mL of lidocaine 1.5% was given to block the sciatic nerve after obtaining the maximum compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude using nerve conduction studies. Additional lidocaine 1.5% was pumped at a rate of 30 mL/h through the indwelling annular tube if, after 8 minutes, the CMAP amplitude was still present. The CMAP amplitude monitored by the nerve conduction studies and pinprick tests were recorded every 2 minutes after the administration of lidocaine 1.5%. When the CMAP amplitude decreased to nearly 0 mV, this MEV was recorded. The influences of the cross-sectional area of the sciatic nerve, sex, age, body mass index, and the depth of the sciatic nerve on the MEV were analyzed using stepwise multiple linear regression. Blood samples were collected from 10 patients to evaluate the safety of combined femoral and sciatic nerve blocks by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Blood was drawn at 0 minutes before femoral nerve injection; 0 minutes before sciatic nerve injection; 8 minutes after sciatic nerve injection; and 0, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, and 120 minutes after the pumping of lidocaine 1.5% stopped.
A significant correlation was found between the MEV of lidocaine 1.5% and the cross-sectional area of the sciatic nerve (r=0.459), with a regression equation of the MEV (mL)=5.969+0.095×(the cross-sectional area of the sciatic nerve). The coefficient of determination was 0.211 (P<0.05). The MEV of lidocaine 1.5% for complete sciatic nerve blocks ranged from 7 to 15 mL. The maximum concentrations of lidocaine, monoethylglycinexylidide, and glycinexylidide were 1672.9 (227.6), 265.7 (32.7), and 42.2 (22.4) ng/mL, respectively.
There is a positive correlation between the cross-sectional area of the sciatic nerve and the MEV. The regression equation can help to predict the MEV of lidocaine 1.5% for popliteal sciatic nerve blocks. The maximum concentrations of lidocaine and its metabolites did not approach toxic threshold limits in this study.