ORIGINAL ARTICLE| Volume 13, ISSUE 2, P95-98, April 2004

The effects of bupivacaine, ropivacaine and mepivacaine on the contractility of rat myometrium


      Local anesthetic agents are commonly used for obstetric anesthesia and analgesia. We determined the effects of bupivacaine, ropivacaine and mepivacaine on the contractility of isolated pregnant rat uterine muscle strips. Uterine specimens were obtained from 18- to 21-day pregnant Wistar rats (n=28). Myometrial strips were obtained from the uterine horns after removing the fetuses and non-uterine tissue, incubated in organ baths and contractions stimulated with oxytocin. When contractions became regular, strips were exposed to increasing concentrations of the study drugs. Mepivacaine (n=8), ropivacaine (n=10) and bupivacaine (n=10) were used at cumulative doses from 10−8 to 10−4 mol/L. Two of the local anesthetics, bupivacaine most, ropivacaine least, caused a dose-dependent inhibition of uterine contractility. In contrast, mepivacaine significantly increased uterine contractility. Bupivacaine, ropivacaine and mepivacaine were found to have no effect on frequency of uterine contractions. These results demonstrate that bupivacaine and ropivacaine may inhibit myometrium contractility.


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