We have studied the effects of an extradural block during Caesarean section using either bupivacaine plain or with adrenaline 85-100 μg on blood velocity waveforms of maternal uterine and placental arcuate arteries and fetal umbilical, renal and middle cerebral arteries, in 20 hypertensive parturients with chronic fetal asphyxia. Fetal myocardial function was investigated at the same time by M-mode echocardiography. Extradural anaesthesia resulted in a significant decrease in maternal mean systolic and diastolic arterial pressures in both groups, but this was more marked after plain bupivacaine. There were no significant differences in any of the Doppler recordings relative to baseline values after plain bupivacaine, but after bupivacaine with adrenaline there were significantly increased blood flow velocity indices for the maternal uterine and placental arcuate arteries and significantly decreased indices in the fetal renal and middle cerebral arteries. Neonatal outcome as evaluated by Apgar scores and acid-base values in the umbilical cord were similar in the two groups. The results suggest that adrenaline added to the solution of bupivacaine increased vascular resistance in the uteroplacental circulation, indicating impaired blood flow.
- Anaesthesia, obstetric Caesarean section
- Anaesthetic techniques: extradural
- Placenta: umbilical blood flow
- Uterus: blood flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine