Hemodynamic changes during spinal anesthesia in premature infants with congenital heart disease undergoing inguinal hernia correction

Paediatric Anaesthesia, 05/16/2012

Shenkman Z et al. – The data suggest that spinal anesthesia (SA) with 1mg.kg-1 of either hyperbaric tetracaine or bupivacaine can be used safely as the sole anesthetic for inguinal hernia repair in infants with noncyanotic congenital heart disease (CHD) even when fluid restricted and apparently causes minimal respiratory complications in these infants.


  • The authors reviewed the experience with 44 unsupplemented SA with 1mg.kg-1 of either hyperbaric tetracaine or bupivacaine in premature and former premature infants with noncyanotic CHD.
  • Hemodynamics and oxyhemoglobin saturation (SpO2) were assessed.
  • Neither preoperative fluid boluses nor atropine was administered to any of the infants.


  • There was no significant change in systolic, diastolic, or mean blood pressures from pre-SA induction compared with end of surgery.
  • Heart rate showed a small but systematic decline (mean change of 10 beats per minute, P<0.01) but was within the normative range values for age.
  • There was a small, but clinically insignificant increase in SpO2 across the time course.
  • Intraoperatively, two infants developed transient apneic spells.
  • No infant developed postoperative apnea, oxygen desaturation, or bradycardia.

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