Original research article| Volume 90, ISSUE 6, P594-600, December 2014

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Intrauterine lidocaine for pain control during laminaria insertion: a randomized controlled trial



      To determine if intrauterine administration of 5 cc of 2% lidocaine in addition to paracervical block reduces pain during laminaria insertion, when compared with paracervical block and saline placebo.

      Study Design

      This was a randomized, double blind placebo-controlled trial. Women presenting for abortion by dilation and evacuation (D&E) at 14–24 weeks gestational age were randomized to receive an intrauterine instillation of either 5 mL of 2% lidocaine or 5 mL of normal saline, in addition to standard paracervical block with 20 cc of 0.25% bupivacaine. Our primary outcome was self-reported pain scores on a 100 mm Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) immediately following laminaria insertion. Secondary outcome was self-reported VAS pain score indicating the maximum level of pain experienced during the 24–48-h interval between laminaria insertion and D&E procedure.


      Seventy-two women were enrolled, and data for 67 women were analyzed, only two of whom were more than 21 weeks on gestation. The range of pain scores at both time points was large (1–90 mm at laminaria insertion; 0–100 mm in laminaria–D&E interval). Mean pain scores were not different between treatment groups at laminaria insertion, (33 vs. 32, p=.8) or in the laminaria – D&E interval (43 vs. 44, p=.9).


      Intrauterine administration of 5 cc of 2% lidocaine in addition to paracervical block did not reduce pain with laminaria insertion when compared to paracervical block with saline placebo.


      Intrauterine lidocaine combined with paracervical block does not improve pain control at laminaria insertion when compared with paracervical block and saline placebo. Wide variation in pain scores and persistent pain after laminaria insertion suggests patient would benefit from more effective methods of pain control at laminaria insertion and during the post-laminaria interval.


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