A systematic review of local anaesthetic systemic toxicity in urology

Claris Oh, Stephen Kinnear, Derek Hennessey, James Adshead, Nikhil Vasdev, Ned Kinnear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To systematically evaluate cases of local anaesthetic systemic toxicity (LAST) in adult urological patients.

Methods: A search of the Cochrane, Embase, and Medline databases as well as grey literature from 1 January 1974 to 1 February 2023 was performed using reported methods. Reporting followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis guidelines. Eligible studies were published in English, described LAST secondary to local anaesthetic administration by urological medical staff to an adult patient, and reported >1 symptom of LAST.

Results: One hundred fifty-seven publications were screened, and six eligible studies (all case reports) were identified, representing six cases of LAST in adult urological patients. Patients were aged 29-54 years and one was female. Cases occurred secondary to penile dorsal nerve block (two cases), scrotal self-injection (two), circumcision (one) or trans-vaginal tape insertion (one). Causative drugs were lidocaine (three patients; median dose 600mg) and bupivacaine (three; 200mg). While one patient was found deceased at home and received no treatment, five experienced LAST as inpatients and were discharged with no deficit. Three patients (50%) experienced a state of reduced consciousness or seizures, one experienced psychosis and one had asymptomatic tachyarrhythmia. Management consisted of supportive management (five patients), intravenous lipid emulsion (three) or intravenous thiopental and diazepam (one). Recommended tools suggested that two of these studies were at moderate or high risk of bias.

Conclusion: LAST is seen only rarely in adult urology. Most iatrogenic cases occur due to penile dorsal nerve block and most patients have no long-term sequelae. Urologists should be familiar with its presentation and management, and minimise risk by adhering to local anaesthetic maximum safe dose ranges.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSurgical Technology International
Early online date29 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2023


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