To assess the anesthetic efficacy and safety of topical ropivacaine versus topical lidocaine in cataract surgery.
Institute of Ophthalmology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
This prospective controlled randomized double-blind study comprised 64 patients scheduled for planned routine cataract extraction. Patients were randomized into 2 groups; 1 received topical ropivacaine 1% and the other, topical lidocaine 4%. The duration of surgery, intraoperative and early postoperative complications, and the need for supplemental intracameral anesthesia were recorded. Intraoperative and postoperative subjective pain was quantified by patients using a scale from 1 to 10. An endothelial cell count was performed preoperatively and 2 months after surgery.
The mean endothelial cell density decreased from 2334 cells/mm2 ± 496 (SD) to 2016 ± 674 cells/mm2 in the ropivacaine group and from 2519 ± 404 cells/mm2 to 1847 ± 607 cells/mm2 in the lidocaine group. The difference in cell density between groups was not significant before (P = .154) or after surgery (P = .329); however, the difference in mean cell loss between groups was statistically significant (P = .031). The duration of surgery and intraoperative complications were the same in both groups. Four patients in the ropivacaine group and 5 in the lidocaine group required supplemental anesthesia (P > .05). The mean subjective analog pain score was slightly higher in the lidocaine group (P > .05). The day after surgery, 12 eyes in the ropivacaine group and 6 in the lidocaine group had transient corneal edema (P = .150).
Topical ropivacaine performed at least as well as topical lidocaine in efficacy and safety in cataract surgery. It provided sufficient and long-lasting analgesia without the need for supplemental intracameral anesthesia in most cases.