Nerve-sparing dissection as alternative to anesthesia of carotid sinus nerve in preparation for carotid endarterectomy

A. A. Barman, A. S. Moideen, S. S. Chaudhry, J. Ardell, S. A. Barman, R. Cantu

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7 Scopus citations


This prospective randomized study was undertaken to determine intraoperatively the hemodynamic effects of local anesthesia of the carotid sinus nerve during carotid dissection in preparation for endarterectomy. Twenty carotid endarterectomy patients were divided into 2 groups: a control group of 10 patients, in whom ordinary saline solution was infiltrated into the carotid bifurcation; and a study group of 10 patients, in whom 5 mL of 2% lidocaine hydrochloride was infiltrated. To determine whether a nerve-sparing dissection might in itself be adequate to prevent the perioperative hemodynamic instability associated with carotid endarterectomy, we took scrupulous care in all patients to avoid injuring the carotid sinus nerve. After we had established baseline values for heart rate and blood pressure in each patient, we recorded heart rate and blood pressure again intraoperatively, every 2 minutes during 10-minute period. Because the series was small, an analysis of variance showed no statistically significant changes in these values during carotid dissection in either group. However, intraoperative increases in systolic pressure (p < 0.0064) and mean pressure (p < 0.0028) were greater in the lidocaine group. Neither group experienced any deaths, or any neurologic or hemodynamic sequelae during 48 hours of postoperative observation. We conclude that local anesthetic injection of the carotid sinus nerve before carotid dissection and endarterectomy is unnecessary when nerve-sparing dissection is performed; and we conclude further that such injection might actually be deleterious to intraoperative systolic and mean blood pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-109
Number of pages3
JournalTexas Heart Institute Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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