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Comparison of analgesic and tissue effects of subcutaneous perineural injection of liposomal bupivacaine and bupivacaine hydrochloride in horses with forelimb lameness induced via circumferential clamp

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  • 1 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the analgesic and tissue effects of liposomal bupivacaine administered SC as an abaxial sesamoid nerve block in horses with experimentally induced lameness.

ANIMALS

6 healthy mature light-breed horses.

PROCEDURES

In a randomized crossover study, a circumferential hoof clamp was applied to a forelimb to induce reversible lameness. An abaxial sesamoid nerve block of the lame forelimb was performed by SC perineural injection of 10 mg of liposomal bupivacaine or bupivacaine HCl/site. Quantitative gait data were objectively obtained with a body-mounted inertial sensor system before (baseline) and at 30-minute intervals after treatment. Time to return to 85% of baseline lameness was determined. After a minimum 4-day washout period, procedures were repeated with the alternate limb and treatment. Lastly, the palmar digital nerves and perineural tissues were collected and examined histologically.

RESULTS

SC perineural injection of liposomal bupivacaine ameliorated forelimb lameness in 5 of 6 horses. The median duration of analgesia was not significantly different between liposomal bupivacaine (4.5 hours) and bupivacaine HCl (3.0 hours). Histologically, mild inflammation was noted in 3 of 10 sites injected with liposomal bupivacaine and in none of the sites injected with bupivacaine HCl.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

SC perineural injection of 10 mg of liposomal bupivacaine/site ameliorated experimentally induced forelimb lameness in some horses. At milligram-equivalent doses, liposomal bupivacaine had a similar duration of analgesia to that of bupivacaine HCl. Further investigation is required before recommending clinical use of liposomal bupivacaine for nerve blocks in horses.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the analgesic and tissue effects of liposomal bupivacaine administered SC as an abaxial sesamoid nerve block in horses with experimentally induced lameness.

ANIMALS

6 healthy mature light-breed horses.

PROCEDURES

In a randomized crossover study, a circumferential hoof clamp was applied to a forelimb to induce reversible lameness. An abaxial sesamoid nerve block of the lame forelimb was performed by SC perineural injection of 10 mg of liposomal bupivacaine or bupivacaine HCl/site. Quantitative gait data were objectively obtained with a body-mounted inertial sensor system before (baseline) and at 30-minute intervals after treatment. Time to return to 85% of baseline lameness was determined. After a minimum 4-day washout period, procedures were repeated with the alternate limb and treatment. Lastly, the palmar digital nerves and perineural tissues were collected and examined histologically.

RESULTS

SC perineural injection of liposomal bupivacaine ameliorated forelimb lameness in 5 of 6 horses. The median duration of analgesia was not significantly different between liposomal bupivacaine (4.5 hours) and bupivacaine HCl (3.0 hours). Histologically, mild inflammation was noted in 3 of 10 sites injected with liposomal bupivacaine and in none of the sites injected with bupivacaine HCl.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

SC perineural injection of 10 mg of liposomal bupivacaine/site ameliorated experimentally induced forelimb lameness in some horses. At milligram-equivalent doses, liposomal bupivacaine had a similar duration of analgesia to that of bupivacaine HCl. Further investigation is required before recommending clinical use of liposomal bupivacaine for nerve blocks in horses.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Le (kmle@iastate.edu).

Dr. Hossetter's present address is the Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.