LIDOCAINE AND THE REDUCTION OF POST-VENOGRAPHIC PAIN
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Venography remains the standard method for the diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis but it is invasive and frequently causes discomfort. A randomised double-blind study was performed to determine the efficacy of lidocaine in reducing pain and discomfort associated with venography. Sixty patients undergoing ascending venography received 40 mg of lidocaine (2 ml of 2% lidocaine mixed with 50 ml of contrast medium) in one leg and saline in the other. Assessment of pain was by a standard questionnaire administered by an investigator unaware of the sequence of administration of lidocaine or saline placebo. Twenty-four patients reported no difference in pain or discomfort between the two limbs. Of the 36 patients experiencing an overall difference in pain between the two legs, 12 reported more pain in the leg receiving lidocaine and 24 reported more pain in the leg receiving saline (p = 0.023). There were no significant side effects attributable to lidocaine. These results indicate that lidocaine is beneficial in reducing pain and discomfort associated with venography.
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