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      Local anesthetic systemic toxicity: current perspectives

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          Local anesthetic systemic toxicity (LAST) is a life-threatening adverse event that may occur after the administration of local anesthetic drugs through a variety of routes. Increasing use of local anesthetic techniques in various healthcare settings makes contemporary understanding of LAST highly relevant. Recent data have demonstrated that the underlying mechanisms of LAST are multifactorial, with diverse cellular effects in the central nervous system and cardiovascular system. Although neurological presentation is most common, LAST often presents atypically, and one-fifth of the reported cases present with isolated cardiovascular disturbance. There are several risk factors that are associated with the drug used and the administration technique. LAST can be mitigated by targeting the modifiable risk factors, including the use of ultrasound for regional anesthetic techniques and restricting drug dosage. There have been significant developments in our understanding of LAST treatment. Key advances include early administration of lipid emulsion therapy, prompt seizure management, and careful selection of cardiovascular supportive pharmacotherapy. Cognizance of the mechanisms, risk factors, prevention, and therapy of LAST is vital to any practitioner using local anesthetic drugs in their clinical practice.

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          Most cited references 85

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          ASRA practice advisory on local anesthetic systemic toxicity.

          The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Practice Advisory on Local Anesthetic Systemic Toxicity assimilates and summarizes current knowledge regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of this potentially fatal complication. It offers evidence-based and/or expert opinion-based recommendations for all physicians and advanced practitioners who routinely administer local anesthetics in potentially toxic doses. The advisory does not address issues related to local anesthetic-related neurotoxicity, allergy, or methemoglobinemia. Recommendations are based primarily on animal and human experimental trials, case series, and case reports. When objective evidence is lacking or incomplete, recommendations are supplemented by expert opinion from the Practice Advisory Panel plus input from other experts, medical specialty groups, and open forum. Specific recommendations are offered for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of local anesthetic systemic toxicity.
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            Guidelines for monitoring and management of pediatric patients during and after sedation for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures: an update.

             ,  ,  Hélène C. F. Côté (2006)
            The safe sedation of children for procedures requires a systematic approach that includes the following: no administration of sedating medication without the safety net of medical supervision; careful presedation evaluation for underlying medical or surgical conditions that would place the child at increased risk from sedating medications; appropriate fasting for elective procedures and a balance between depth of sedation and risk for those who are unable to fast because of the urgent nature of the procedure; a focused airway examination for large tonsils or anatomic airway abnormalities that might increase the potential for airway obstruction; a clear understanding of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of the medications used for sedation, as well as an appreciation for drug interactions; appropriate training and skills in airway management to allow rescue of the patient; age- and size-appropriate equipment for airway management and venous access; appropriate medications and reversal agents; sufficient numbers of people to carry out the procedure and monitor the patient; appropriate physiologic monitoring during and after the procedure; a properly equipped and staffed recovery area; recovery to presedation level of consciousness before discharge from medical supervision; and appropriate discharge instructions. This report was developed through a collaborative effort of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to offer pediatric providers updated information and guidance in delivering safe sedation to children.
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              Continuous peripheral nerve blocks: a review of the published evidence.

               Brian Ilfeld (2011)
              A continuous peripheral nerve block, also termed "perineural local anesthetic infusion," involves the percutaneous insertion of a catheter adjacent to a peripheral nerve, followed by local anesthetic administration via the catheter, providing anesthesia/analgesia for multiple days or even months. Continuous peripheral nerve blocks may be provided in the hospital setting, but the use of lightweight, portable pumps permits ambulatory infusion as well. This technique's most common application is providing analgesia after surgical procedures. However, additional indications include treating intractable hiccups; inducing a sympathectomy and vasodilation to increase blood flow after a vascular accident, digit transfer/replantation, or limb salvage; alleviating vasospasm of Raynaud disease; and treating peripheral embolism and chronic pain such as complex regional pain syndrome, phantom limb pain, trigeminal neuralgia, and cancer-induced pain. After trauma, perineural infusion can provide analgesia during transportation to a distant treatment center, or while simply awaiting surgical repair. Catheter insertion may be accomplished using many possible modalities, including nerve stimulation, ultrasound guidance, paresthesia induction, fluoroscopic imaging, and simple tactile perceptions ("facial click"). Either a nonstimulating epidural-type catheter may be used, or a "stimulating catheter" that delivers electrical current to its tip. Administered infusate generally includes exclusively long-acting, dilute, local anesthetic delivered as a bolus only, basal only, or basal-bolus combination. Documented benefits appear to be dependent on successfully improving analgesia, and include decreasing baseline/breakthrough/dynamic pain, supplemental analgesic requirements, opioid-related side effects, and sleep disturbances. In some cases, patient satisfaction and ambulation/functioning may be improved; an accelerated resumption of passive joint range-of-motion realized; and the time until discharge readiness as well as actual discharge from the hospital or rehabilitation center achieved. Lastly, postoperative joint inflammation and inflammatory markers may be decreased. Nearly all benefits occur during the infusion itself, but several randomized controlled trials suggest that in some situations there are prolonged benefits after catheter removal as well. Easily rectified minor complications occur somewhat frequently, but major risks including clinically relevant infection and nerve injury are relatively rare. This article is an evidence-based review of the published literature involving continuous peripheral nerve blocks.

                Author and article information

                Local Reg Anesth
                Local Reg Anesth
                Local and Regional Anesthesia
                Local and Regional Anesthesia
                Dove Medical Press
                08 August 2018
                : 11
                : 35-44
                [1 ]Department of Anaesthesia, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, elboghdadly@
                [2 ]School of Medicine, King’s College London, London, UK, elboghdadly@
                [3 ]Department of Anesthesia, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Kariem El-Boghdadly Department of Anaesthesia, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, UK, Tel +44 207 188 0644, Fax +44 207 188 0644, Email elboghdadly@
                © 2018 El-Boghdadly et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.


                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                regional anesthesia, therapy, toxicity, local anesthetic


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