oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Alkalinisation does not enhance the antimicrobial properties of local anaesthetic solutions : original research

Volume 14, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



The purpose of the study was to examine the previously reported finding that the addition of bicarbonate to lignocaine enhanced the antimicrobial effect of the local anaesthetic agent on a range of bacteria implicated in epidural infections and to determine if this would also hold true for bupivacaine.

Bupivacaine at a concentration of 0.25% and lignocaine at a concentration of 1% with and without an alkaline buffer were inoculated with suspensions of or . The mixtures were plated on 2% blood agar plates immediately (T = 0) and after 24 hours at room temperature (T = 24), and numbers of colonies were recorded. The difference in the number of colonies between T = 0 and T = 24 was expressed as a fraction of the T=0 value, giving a percentage inhibition of colony growth. Statistical testing was performed using Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by multiple comparisons of mean ranks between all groups.
At concentrations of 0.25% bupivacaine and 1% lignocaine, these findings suggest that 1% lignocaine has no antibacterial activity. The addition of bicarbonate has no influence.
Bupivacaine has significant antibacterial activity, but the addition of bicarbonate has no influence.

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