Ultrastructural pathology

Comparison of the myotoxic effects of levobupivacaine, bupivacaine, and ropivacaine: an electron microscopic study.

PMID 25941920


The aim of this study was to investigate the myotoxic effects of bupivacaine, ropivacaine, and levobupivacaine which were applied intramuscularly to rat skeletal muscle. Forty Wistar-Albino rats were divided into four groups. In the study, .5% bupivacaine (Group B), .5% ropivacaine (Group R), .5% levobupivacaine (Group L), or .9% normal saline (Group SF) was applied intramuscularly to the right gastrocnemius muscle of rats. The rats in each group were sacrificed on the second day after injection. Sections of muscle samples were stained with hematoxylin-eosin for light microscopic investigation and prepared for the evaluation of ultrastructural changes in the subcellular level with transmission electron microscopy. All three local anesthetic agents caused qualitatively similar skeletal muscle damage. The most observed muscle damage was in Group B, muscle damage of Group R was less than that of Group B, and the least damage was seen in Group L quantitatively. Electron microscopic examination of each group that caused cellular damage was qualitatively similar. The most subcellular damage was observed in the group receiving bupivacaine, less was seen in the ropivacaine group, and the least was observed in the levobupivacaine group. The results indicated that bupivacaine caused more myotoxic damage than the other two agents in the skeletal muscle of rats and that levobupivacaine caused less myotoxic damage than both bupivacaine and ropivacaine at the cell and tissue levels.