Does local anesthesia decrease pain perception in women undergoing amniocentesis?

Michael C. Gordon, Ada Ventura-Braswell, Kenneth Higby, John A. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: The null hypothesis is that local anesthesia does not decrease pain perception during amniocentesis. Study design: We performed a prospective randomized study comparing local anesthesia (1% lidocaine) with no anesthesia before amniocentesis in a racially diverse population. Immediately after the procedure, subjects were asked to assess their pain using both a Visual Analogue Scale and a 101-point Numerical Rating Scale. Results: Two hundred four women were enrolled; 101 women received local, 102 women received no local, and 1 woman declined the amniocentesis after randomization. There was no difference in pain perception between the 2 groups as measured by either the visual analogue scale or the numeric rating scale (P = .28 and .18 respectively). The correlation coefficient between the 2 pain scales was strong with 0.86 for the local group and 0.92 for the no local group, (P < .001). Conclusion: Administration of local anesthesia before amniocentesis does not decrease maternal pain perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55.e1-55.e4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • amniocentesis
  • local anesthesia
  • pain perception
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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