Difference between revisions of "Local anesthetic systemic toxicity"

(Text replacement - "CCBs" to "calcium-channel blockers")
(Text replacement - "BBs" to "beta-blockers")
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*ACLS modifications per ASRA (Am Soc of Regional Anesthesia):
*ACLS modifications per ASRA (Am Soc of Regional Anesthesia):
**Avoid vasopressin
**Avoid vasopressin
**Avoid calcium-channel blockers and BBs
**Avoid calcium-channel blockers and beta-blockers
**Amiodarone preferred in ventricular dysrhythmias
**Amiodarone preferred in ventricular dysrhythmias

Revision as of 10:20, 3 August 2016


  • Acronym: LAST
  • Life-threatening adverse reaction to local anesthetic toxicity.
  • Incidence = ~0.2% of nerve blocks
  • Generally occurs within minutes of injection


  • Injection of local anesthetic into systemic circulation
  • Exceeding the maximum dose of local anesthetic (see table below)
  • Absorption of anesthetic into systemic circulation by injection into extremely vascular area.

Maximum Doses of Anesthetic Agents

Agent Without Epinephrine With Epinephrine Duration Notes
Lidocaine 5 mg/kg (max 300mg) 7 mg/kg (max 500mg) 30-90 min
  • 1% soln contains 10 mg/ml
  • 2% soln contains 20 mg/ml
Mepivicaine 7 mg/kg 8 mg/kg
Bupivicaine 2.5 mg/kg (max 175mg) 3 mg/kg (max 225mg) 6-8 hr
  • 0.5% soln contains 5 mg/ml
  • May cause cardiac arrest if injected intravascularly
  • Do not buffer with bicarbonate
Ropivacaine 3 mg/kg
Prilocaine 6 mg/kg
Tetracaine 1 mg/kg 1.5 mg/kg 3hrs (10hrs with epi)
Procaine 7 mg/kg 10 mg/kg 30min (90min with epi)

Clinical Features

Clinical course tends to be a dose-dependant progression from CNS symptoms to CVS symptoms and death[2]

  • CNS symptoms
    • Agitation
    • Auditory changes
    • Metallic taste
    • Seizures or drowsiness
    • Coma
    • Respiratory arrest
  • Cardiovascular[1]
    • Early signs
      • Tachycardia
      • Ventricular dysrhythmia
      • Hypertension
    • Late signs
      • Bradycardia
      • Conduction block
      • Cardiovascular collapse
      • Asystole

Differential Diagnosis

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Anxiety

Sodium Channel Blockade Toxidrome


  • Clinical diagnosis


  • Directed by clinical picture
  • Blood levels of anesthetic are available, but not clinically useful.


  • Aggressive supportive care (including airway management) and application of ACLS
    • Ventilate with 100% FiO2 - bolus dose of 50-100mg IV succinylcholine paralyzes without depressing CNS or CV[3]
    • Hypercapnia, hypoxia, acidosis all worsen toxic effects[4]
    • Manage seizures with benzodiazepines; propofol is an option but may worsen CV toxicity
  • Lipid emulsion, (Intralipid) 20% solution[4]
    • 1.5 mL/kg bolus over 1 minute
    • Then, 0.25 mL/kg/min for 20 min or until hemodynamic stability achieved
      • ↑ to 0.5 mL/kg/min if hemodynamic status declines
  • ACLS modifications per ASRA (Am Soc of Regional Anesthesia):
    • Avoid vasopressin
    • Avoid calcium-channel blockers and beta-blockers
    • Amiodarone preferred in ventricular dysrhythmias


  • Admit

See Also

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Fencl JL. Local anesthetic systemic toxicity: perioperative implications. AORN J. 2015 Jun;101(6):697-700.
  2. Kamel I, Trehan G, Barnette R. Intralipid Therapy for Inadvertent Peripheral Nervous System Blockade Resulting from Local Anesthetic Overdose. Case Reports in Anesthesiology. 2015;2015:486543. doi:10.1155/2015/486543.
  3. GlobalRPH. Management of Local Anesthetic Emergencies. http://www.globalrph.com/local-anesthetics.htm
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dillane D, Finucane BT. Local anesthetic systemic toxicity. Can J Anaesth. 2010 Apr;57(4):368-80.