• Users Online: 989
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

Year : 2008  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 199-201 Table of Contents     

Ventricular Tachycardia due to Intranasal Adrenaline in Nasal Surgery- a Case Report

1 Senior Resident, Department of Anaesthesiology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 575 001, Karnataka, India
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Anaesthesiology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 575 001, Karnataka, India
3 Associate Professor, Department of Anaesthesiology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 575 001, Karnataka, India
4 Professor and Head, Department of Anaesthesiology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 575 001, Karnataka, India

Date of Acceptance03-Mar-2008
Date of Web Publication19-Mar-2010

Correspondence Address:
R K Ranjan
504, Classique Apartments, Bunts Hostel Road, Mangalore 575 003
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

We present the case of 32-year-old female with chronic sinusitis undergoing functional endoscopic sinus surgery(FESS), who developed ventricular tachycardia following intranasal adrenaline pledgets which was successfully treated with defibrilla­tion.

Keywords: Epinephrine; Ventricular tachycardia; Defibrillation

How to cite this article:
Hema H A, Kulkarni A, Ranjan R K, Ambareesha M. Ventricular Tachycardia due to Intranasal Adrenaline in Nasal Surgery- a Case Report. Indian J Anaesth 2008;52:199-201

How to cite this URL:
Hema H A, Kulkarni A, Ranjan R K, Ambareesha M. Ventricular Tachycardia due to Intranasal Adrenaline in Nasal Surgery- a Case Report. Indian J Anaesth [serial online] 2008 [cited 2020 Nov 27];52:199-201. Available from: https://www.ijaweb.org/text.asp?2008/52/2/199/60622

   Introduction Top

Vasopressors have a long history of use as hemo­static agents during nasal surgery. Earlier cocaine was preferred for its surface anaesthetic property and unique vasoconstrictive effects.

Drugs like epinephrine, phenylephrine, norepineph­rine, vasopressin analogues and oxymetazoline are pres­ently used as adjuvants with local anaesthetics to pre­pare the nasal passages before nasal surgery and for nasal intubation. Epinephrine acts as a vasoconstrictor of capillaries and is considered to be the vasoconstric­tor of choice with local anaesthetics [1] . Epinephrine also prevents toxicity by reducing the systemic absorption of local anaesthetics from the nasal mucosa and prolong­ing the duration of action as well as the intensity of a nerve block produced by local anaesthetics.

The instillation of local anaesthetics with or with­out vasopressors is used routinely by ENT surgeons to prepare nasal passages prior to FESS and other surger­ies. We describe a patient who developed ventricular tachycardia after intranasal adrenaline pledgets sched­uled for nasal surgery under local anaesthesia

   Case report Top

A 32-year-old female, ASA grade 1 with history of right sided headache and diagnosed as chronic si­nusitis was scheduled for functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) under local anaesthesia.

Patient was premedicated by ENT surgeon with atropine 0.6mg and promethazine 25 mg intramuscu­larly 1 hour before shifting the patient. Right nostril was packed with 4% lidocaine with adrenaline (6mg) and pethidine 75 mg was given intravenously. Additional 2% lidocaine with adrenaline (1: 1000 ) was infiltrated and partial right middle turbinectomy done. Patient then com­plained of pain to which the surgeon requested for gen­eral anaesthesia.

Patient was premedicated with fentanyl 50 mcg, midazolam 1.5mg and glycopyrrolate 0.2mg. Cardio­scope, pulse oximetry and non invasive blood pressure were attached. Patient was preoxygenated with 100% oxygen for 3 minutes and was induced with thiopentone 5 mg.kg -1 and succinylcholine 2mg.kg -1 . Patient imme­diately had a run of broad complex ventricular tachycar­dia. An intravenous bolus of 100mg preservative free lidocaine was given. Endotracheal intubation was done with 7.5 mm cuffed tube. Heart rhythm was not reverted. DC shock 300J was given. Heart rhythm reverted to sinus rhythm. Patient was maintained on 100% oxygen and positive pressure ventilation was instituted. Patient again had a run of broad complex ventricular tachycar­dia which was again reverted back to normal rhythm with DC shock 300 J. She had normal sinus rhyhm with heart rate of 100/min, blood pressure of 90/60 mm Hg, SpO 2 95%. Dopamine infusion was started at 7mcg.kg -1 .min -1 which was titrated according to blood pressure. Arterial blood gas analysis and ECG were within nor­mal limits. Surgery was not proceeded further.

After patient regained consciousness and with a SpO 2 of 98% patient was extubated. Patient was shifted to ICU. ECHO showed normal study with EF- 64%.

Postoperative period was uneventful. Patient was discharged on the 6th post operative day.

   Discussion Top

Surgical dissection of nasal mucosa causes bleed­ing and initiates potent cardiovascular reflexes mediated through the trigeminal nerve. [2] In an attempt to establish asanguineous field, lidocaine with vasopressors is instilled into the nasal cavity. The use of vasopressor is not with­out complications and may put the patient at risk.

Cocaine was traditionally used for its surface an­aesthetic and vasoconstriction properties, which provided hemostasis. [3] With reports of complications linked to medi­cal and recreational use of cocaine, various other local anaesthetics were introduced. Because of the inherent vasodilatory properties of local anaesthetics, epineph­rine was added to ensure vasoconstriction and thus pro­long the action of local anaesthetics.

Although epinephrine activates presynaptic a 2 adr­energic receptors, its mechanism for prolonging the du­ration of local anaesthetic clearance and not on pharma­codynamically mediated potentiation of local anaesthetics [4] .Various studies have demonstrated that topical application of local anaesthetics with epinephrine is as good, if not better than just topical cocaine. [6],[7]

The â1 effects of epinephrine include tachycardia and increase myocardial contractility, while the stimula­tion of a 1 receptors would cause an increase systematic and pulmonary vascular resistance. The increase in myo­cardial oxygen demand in the face of limited perfusion may result in either ischemia or an infarction. Epineph­rine induced coronary vasospasm may also precipitate acute myocardial infraction. [8] Other complications aris­ing from the use of local anaesthetics with epinephrine include local tissue necrosis.

Savino et al reported 4 patients undergoing nasal surgery, all of whom developed permanent visual field defects after administration of local anaesthetic with epinephrine into nasal cavity. The postulated mechanism for this is vasospasm of the retinal vessels [9] .

In 1992, Perusse et al published a review of car­diac contraindications to the use of vasoconstrictors in dentistry. Absolute contraindication include unstable an­gina, recent MI, recent coronary artery bypass surgery, refractory arrhythmias, severe hypertension, uncontrolled congestive heart failure. [10] However the use of epineph­rine may be indicated in certain of these contraindications after closely weighing the risks versus the benefits of using vasopressors.

By minimizing the concentration of epinephrine, we may be able to attenuate the effects of accidental intra­vascular injection or rapid systemic absorption of vaso­constrictors. It has been recommended in head and neck surgery that epinephrine in concentration of 1: 2,00,000 or 1:4,00,000 be used for optimal hemostasis. [11]

Most clinical evidence suggests that increase the epinephrine concentration beyond 5mcg.ml -1 (1:2,00,000) does not result in a stronger vasoconstriction effect, but does increase toxic circulatory side effects. [12]

Milam and Giovanniti suggest that doses of epi­nephrine should not exceed 3mcg.kg -1 upto a total doses of 200mcg in healthy patients and with dose reductions for patient with cardiovascular disease. [13] Nonetheless, the occasional patient may unexpectedly manifest ex­treme sensitivity to injected epinephrine in doses within recommended guidelines. [14]

Alternatively, nasal decongestants such as oxymetazoline, a selective a 1 agonist, have been used for nasal decongestation and have been found to be more effective vasoconstrictors than cocaine, lidocaine or phenylephrine. [15],[16] The management of epinephrine in­duced toxicity should be directed toward prompt detec­tion and early treatment of adverse effects.

We suggest that personnel administering these drugs do so with caution, paying particular attention to the concentration of epinephrine and that dosages be strictly restricted below toxic levels. Haemodynamic variables should be closely monitored during injection of any vasopressor.

   References Top

1.Jage.J. Circulatory effects of vasoconstrictors combined with local anaesthetics. Anaesth Pain control Dent 1993;2: 81-6.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Abou- Madi MN, Trop D , Barnes J. Aetiology and control of cardiovascular reactions during trans sphenoidal resection of pituitary microadenoma Can Anaesth Soc J 1980 ;27:491-5.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Fleming JA , Byck.R, Barash PG. Pharmacology and therapeutic application of cocaine. Anesthesiology 1990;73:518-31.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Bernards CM, Kopacz DJ. Effects of epinephrine on lidocaine clearance in vivo; a microdialysis study in humans. Anesthesi­ology 1999; 91:962-8.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Myers RR, Heckman HM. Effects of local anaesthetics on nerve blood flow: studies using lidocaine with and without epinephrine. Anesthesiology 1989;7: 757-62.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Kasemsuwan L, Griffiths MV. Lignocaine with adrenaline: Is it as effective as cocaine in rhinological practice? Clin Otolaryngol 1996: 21:127-9.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Raster JF, Chow JM, Vasoconstricative effects of cocaine and lidocaine with epinephrine in hamster pouch model. Otolaryngol Head and Neck surgery 1994;111;795-8.  Back to cited text no. 7      
8.Ferry DR, Henry RL , Kern MJ. Epinephrine induced myo­cardial infarction in a patient with angiographically normal coro­nary arteries.Am Ht 1986; 111: 119-5.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Savino PJ,Burde RM, Mills RP. Visual loss following intranasal anaesthetic injection. J clin Neuroopthalmol 1990;10:140-4.  Back to cited text no. 9      
10.Perusse R, Goulet JP, Turcotte JY. Contraindications to vaso­constrictors in dentistry: part 2. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1992;74:679-86.  Back to cited text no. 10      
11.Dunlevy TM, O' Malley TP, Postma GN. Optimal concentra­tion of epinephrine for vasoconstriction in neck surgery. Laryn­ goscope 1996;106: 1412-14.  Back to cited text no. 11      
12.Carpenter RL, Mackey DC. Local anaesthetics. In: Barash PG, Cullen BF,Stoelting RK (Eds.)Clinical Anaesthesia. 3rd ed.Philadelphia: JB Lippincott 1997:413-440.  Back to cited text no. 12      
13.Milam SB, Giovannitti JA .Local anesthetics in dental prac­tice. Dent Clin North Am 1984;28:493-508.  Back to cited text no. 13      
14.Wanamaker HH, Arandia HY, Wanamaker HH. Epinephrine hypersensitivity induced cardiovascular crisis in otologic sur­gery. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1994;111:841-4.  Back to cited text no. 14  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
15.Riegle EV, Gunter JB, Lusk RP, et al. A comparision of vaso­constrictors for functional endoscopic sinus surgery in chil­dren. Laryngoscope 1992;102:820-3.  Back to cited text no. 15  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
16.Katz RI, Hovagim AR, Finkelstein HS, et al. Comparison of cocaine, lidocaine with epinephrine and oxymetazoline for pre­vention of epistaxis on nasotracheal intubation. J Clin Anaesth 1990;2:16-20.  Back to cited text no. 16      


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Case report

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded323    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal